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Published: October 21, 2022

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • The star is coming in time to host The International 11’s main event
  • He hasn’t hosted a Dota 2 tournament since 2016
  • Back then, he had a falling out with Valve, with Gabe Newell calling him “an ass”

Fans are still in disbelief at the fact that popular former Quake and WoW pro player James “2GD” Harding is once again working with Valve.

2GD Is Back

Dota 2’s The International 11 is in full swing and teams are duking it out for glory and a piece of the biggest prize pool in professional esports. The main event of the tournaments is fast approaching and it seems Valve still has some surprises to show fans, with the latest one being the unexpected return of a legend. Not long after the best-of-three series between Team Secret and PSG.LGD the camera faded out signaling the return of James “2GD” Harding. 

2GD’s return to the main Dota 2 stage after a six-year hiatus was unexpected and fans are already losing their minds. Being one of the most popular esports personalities of the 2010s, the former Quake and World of Warcraft pro player is a nostalgic blast from the past. 

The pro will be at the host’s seat once again after he was last there in 2016 during the Dota 2 Shanghai Majors, which were plagued by problems. At the event, 2GD had a falling out with Valve, in particular Gabe Newell, the company’s president, which marked the end of 2GD’s partnership with Valve, until now.

Why Was 2GD Released in the First Place?

What makes the return of the former Quake and WoW professional to the Dota 2 stage even more extraordinary is the fact that Gabe Newell himself had a ton of negative things to say about him after the 2016 Shanghai Majors. The event was plagued by many technical difficulties and a myriad of problems with the broadcast which caused Valve to be criticized in public.

To add some more oil to the fire, 2GD made a few controversial jokes on the main broadcast of the tournament which was the main reason let go on the second day of the group stage. Shortly after that Gabe Newell himself made a Reddit post addressing the many problems of the Shanghai Majors, criticizing the production company that organized the tournament. He even proceeded to biblically blast 2GD, calling him “an ass”.

“We’ve had issues with James at previous events,” Newell wrote. “Some Valve people lobbied to bring him back for Shanghai, feeling that he deserved another chance. That was a mistake. James is an ass, and we won’t be working with him again.”

The fact that Newell himself used such harsh words makes it an even bigger surprise that we see 2GD return to the Dota 2 stage. In 2016, Valve was criticized for its decision to release the broadcaster, so it should come as no surprise that the news that 2GD is returning, is being received with great positivity.

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