Valve takes stance against tournament exclusivity rules
Valve has taken a firm stance against tournament organisers restricting teams from attending events hosted by a rival company.
In a blog post titled "Keeping Things Competitive", Valve stated that exclusivity rules "could cause long-term damage" to the scene and "prevent other events from keeping the CSGO ecosystem functioning if an individual event fails."
The statement comes after a report by Dexerto revealed that ESL was planning to introduce a number of strict exclusivity rules in the Pro League next year, in which the showpiece competition will be included in the ESL Pro Tour. HLTV.org then provided further context to the section quoted in that report, which belonged to a draft of an agreement that would only be signed by a number of teams competing in the ESL Pro League.
Valve stressed that, while it welcomes "experiments that are scoped large enough to identify new and interesting opportunities," it is firmly against changes "so large that, if they fail, it would be hard for the ecosystem to recover."
"At this time we are not interested in providing licenses for events that restrict participating teams from attending other events," Valve wrote.
Valve, which reiterated its stance against multiple team ownership and potential conflicts of interest involving teams, players and tournament organisers, also commented on the controversy surrounding the broadcasting rights for the Counter-Strike Majors.
The debate was sparked during the second day of the Major as several community streamers had their Twitch channels taken down following copyright strikes issued by StarLadder. As criticism mounted, the Major organiser withdrew all DMCA claims and gave community broadcasts in certain languages the chance to broadcast footage off of GOTV on their channels.
Valve insists that a Major operator "has always been the only party" with a license to broadcast the competition but noted that it expects a Major partner to be "as inclusive as possible" to give fans across the globe the best possible viewing experience in all languages.
"Major tournament operators are expected to work with streamers in order to provide viewers with access to valuable alternative content and underserved languages, whether through official streams or otherwise," Valve added.
"Anyone that wants to offer a unique perspective and co-stream the Major should reach out to the Major tournament operator ahead of time in order to ensure a good experience for everyone involved."
Meanwhile, Valve revealed that the tournament items for the StarLadder Major will pay out "over $11 million" to the participating teams and players who were in Berlin.