Valve's '6 month roster lock': reactions and revisions
Valve has announced through an update on their roster lock policy that after the Winter Major there will be one last transfer period before the end of The International 6. This news essentially means there will be around a 4-6 month period where all DotA 2 teams wanting to compete in the Majors or TI6 will be bound to their rosters.
The update on the Valve website read as follows: “Players and teams are locked through the Major this winter. After its conclusion, players will unlock from their teams and the process begins again. Teams will again need to invite all their players, and players will need to accept an invite”.
“This is true for all players, including those that intend to stay with the same team. This lock period only lasts until the end of the Major this Winter. After that, there will be another trade window which will be the last one until after The International 2016”.
Setting the roster lock period in this fashion means that there will be no transfer window for the Spring Major, making the lock last for much longer than it has previously. Valve originally introduced the ‘transfer window’ format to try and regulate teams for qualification into any of the Major tournaments.
In one way the lock system makes the DotA 2 season more fixed and teams more stable, but there has been controversy across the professional scene as to whether this lock in particular will be a help or a hindrance. Most have been content with the small lock period between Majors, but a few players have found this longer lock period harder to swallow.
One player in particular, Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao has voiced his negative opinion on the update over Twitter:
It seems that EE is fearful that players who switch around during the transfer period in order find a team they are comfortable with may become stuck with teams they are not happy with during the significantly longer lock in period after the Winter Major. EE also suggests that requiring a team to lock in their roster 2 weeks after a tournament for 6 months is unrealistic.
Others have suggested that this more long term roster lock will provide the stability that the DotA 2 scene requires in order for it to last as an eSport. One of the reasons that has been put forward for the longer lock in is that Valve will be considering teams for direct invite to TI6 in the Spring of 2016 and will not want to invite teams with unstable rosters.
However, after all of EE's complaining he eventually tweeted this:
The roster lock will actually end up being from the end of the Spring Major, to the end of The International 6, making it only around 3/4 months as opposed to the widely tweeted and Reddited '6 months'.