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Galaxy Battles stripped of major tournament status

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Valve Corporation, the company behind popular e-sports DOTA 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive, decided to back out of supporting Galaxy Battles 2, which in effect means that the said tournament is not anymore counted as a Major.

"Based on information we’ve recently confirmed regarding new government regulations for esports players entering the Philippines, we have decided to rescind the tournament’s Major designation, including the Pro Circuit qualifying points, for the Galaxy Battles 2018 tournament," Valve said in a statement on Friday.

While the company did not disclose the regulations, it is believed that it has something to do with a ruling from government-ran GAB requiring the participating players to undergo drug testing for them to acquire professional athlete licenses, which apparently did not sit well with Valve.

"[The decision] is based on what we are unreasonable infringements on the privacy of the players, as a condition to enter the country," the e-sports magnate continued.

However, Valve clarified, "The tournament itself may still proceed, but without any involvement of Valve or the Dota Pro Circuit. This isn’t a reflection on how we feel about fans in the Philippines, and we are sorry for those that were planning on attending the event."

Valve concluded the statement by saying that it is now working with Fallout Gaming, the head organizer of Galaxy Battles, for a separate tournament that will replace the Jan. 15-21 event at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue as a Major featuring the teams that will play there.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno