Posted in CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, OverWatch, SMITE

How Professional Athlete Education Is Becoming Crucial for Esports

Esports is already massive, and will continue to grow even faster. No expert would contradict this: esports is already overtaking ice hockey, and now even competes against flagships sports such as football. However, what is often forgotten in the conversation are the athletes themselves. Pro footballers are highly educated model athletes who leave nothing to chance. Clubs command entire armies of coaches and advisors to help their players cope with the various challenges on and off the field. Comparatively, esports athletes live the life of an amateur.

Football clubs command armies of coaches and advisors. Comparatively, esports athletes live the life of an amateur.

Weekly training schedules with given exercises? No way! Nutritionists, mental coaches, fitness trainers or other specialists? They simply do not exist for most professional esports athletes. While investors and sponsors have smelled blood and are pumping more and more money into the esports market, the professionalisation of esports athletes lags behind.

A career as an esports athlete begins and ends much earlier (in most cases) than the majority of other careers as professional sportsmen. Competitive gaming careers often end in the mid-twenties as the human brain and reflexes no longer react as intuitively to high-speed attacks from the opponent. Therefore, most gamers have to turn pro at the age of 17, or even younger – a rather short time to learn how to live like a pro. The foundations for a successful career as a gamer therefore lay in one’s youth. If a gamer wants to get to the top of his game, he must invest early on.

However, at the start of their esports career, most of them are miles away from a professional way of living – compared to young elite footballer players. Through systematic education and established support systems, footballers not only learn technique and tactics, but they internalize having a professional lifestyle at teenage age. That is exactly what is missing in esports. Only the high-talented gamers manage to get from their bedroom as a child to the top of the esports business.

This is why most recent esport moves of different European high schools are quite interesting. Since last year, the Norwegian school“Garnes Vidaregåande Skule” in Bergen, for example, offers esports as a school subject. In addition to traditional classes, where pupils write exams, their abilities as a team player or their skills in communications are evaluated as well as their performance in game strategy and tactics. On top of gaming exercises there are athletic training, nutritional counseling and special exercises to improve the reflexes of students. Overall, it’s a very popular project, and some High Schools in Sweden already apply similar concepts. Rumors say that schools in the United States and South Korea are also thinking about offering eSports as a subject.


Training and educating esports athletes will need to happen in a professional sports environment.


Universities are also slowly waking up. For example, several US-American and Asian universities offer scholarships for gamers. In England, the University of Staffordshire announced a new bachelor’s degree in esports. Tencent, the largest e-game developer in China, recently announced plans to build a whole city dedicated to esports, which will host a university.

While schools and other academic institutions increasingly discover the relevance of gaming content in their curriculums, training and educating esports athletes will need to happen in a professional sports environment. At least in Europe, pro football clubs entering the scene with dedicated FIFA or LoL teams could play an important role. The gamers can benefit from their coaches and infrastructure, and profit from their expertise in marketing, sponsoring or even scouting. Some clubs already offer academies or campuses to train their employees. Why not open them for professional esports teams?

Scouting esports talents currently takes place mainly through game-specific ranking lists by the developers/publishers. However, a simple update in the game software can completely mix up rankings from one day to another. Accordingly, the contract periods are short. Gamers are usually signed for not more than two splits – high fluctuation within a team is normal. Thus, for football clubs it is important to recognize future stars early on and tie them to the club. Here, Schalke 04 led the way last year with the so-called “Scouting Days”.


Gamers are usually signed for not more than two splits – high fluctuation within a team is normal.


However, discovering talent is only one side of the coin. Developing them is the other. Gamers do not enjoy structured career plans, they did not attend any eports junior performance center or university, and they did not benefit from regional or national support centers. Even if the eSports organization “Penta-Sports” has recently opened the first professional eSports academy in Berlin, this was only a first move. Many more have to follow.

Although linking professional football clubs with esports seems to be a win-win situation, it is still a long way for both sides to benefit from each other. One thing should be clear: the professionalization of esports athletes must go ahead if they want to keep up with the rapid growth of the industry and if they want to keep up with the expectations. Education is crucial, first and foremost.


Posted in Clash Royale, CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, OverWatch, SMITE, Twitch, Uncategorized

Esports to become the greatest sporting event by 2020

 [ THIS POST IS FROM ONE OF OUR ESTEEMED COLLEAGUE, PRATEEK MALHOTRA (https://medium.com/@prateekmalhotra) AND FIRST APPEARED HERE: https://medium.com/@prateekmalhotra/esports-to-become-the-greatest-sporting-event-by-2020-f1ddd15287cd ]
Dota 2 mid-laner Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan plays for the North American team Evil Geniuses

Two college students Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess Cliffe created a total overhaul mod using assets from Valve’s Half Life 2. Le did all the programming and Jess worked with the community of players. What started as an experiment, attracted Valve Corporations, who in turn gave a commercial release to the mod also known as Counter Strike. These digital weapons, players and maps led to the booming of then unknown territory called the ‘esports’.

esports, an online competitive gaming tournament played between pro-gamers on a computer machines has taken the industry by storm as gaming community has started recognizing it as a career option and branded it as a real sport. Getting into the debate of whether esports is a sport or a farce will yield no results, hence I would like to reveal some statistics which will make things more transparent.

According to Newzoo, a leading provider of market intelligence across gaming, esports and mobile gaming released its third edition of esports report which highlights that esports economy will grow to $ 696 million this year. The report also added that Brands will play a major role in shaping the esports economy and by 2020, the growth will reach to $1.5 billion dollars. Further to add, US and China will generate $362 million dollars in 2017, followed by Asia-Pacific regions which will take 51% revenue share.

Why is esports becoming so popular?

esports games are divided into different genre and the most popular being fighting games ( Street Fighter ), first-person shooter ( Counter Strike Series), real time strategy ( WarCraft 3 ), and multiplayer online battle arena ( League Of Legends and Dota ).

Just like any other sport, esports has managed to garner a wide range of spectators across the globe. The overall operations of esports is similar to that of any other sporting event like NBA, NFL, Football and many others. A team consists of 5 members having individual skills which can be executed during the game. The team is managed by an esports expert who oversees players salaries, housing, office space, healthcare and sports staff. The players go through rigorous training and practice for hours to reach the pinnacle Esports tournaments are held on a grandeur level and the level of intensity and cheerfulness seen among gaming fans is similar to that seen in a football or a cricket fans. These tournaments are live-streamed on mediums like Twitch and YouTube which have millions of followers.

The popularity of competitive gaming is testament to the fact that Intel Extreme Masters which was held in Katowice, Poland drew 173000 fans to the stadium event. Online, the event was watched by 46 million unique viewers, more than Trump’s inauguration TV audience of 30.6 million viewers.

Pro Gaming Scene In India

Pro Gaming Scene in India is at its nascent stage, but it is evolving and growing at a fast pace. Hardware companies like Asus, GigaByte and NVIDIA are bolstering the esports mania by organizing Dota 2 and CS:Go tournaments across gaming cafes and events. Many startups and gaming companies have jumped into the scene to promote esports culture.

In January, USports, a ₹100 crore league, announced by the founder of UTV Group, Ronnie Screwvala, will take its course this year.

In February, Nazara Games announced that it will invest INR 130 crores in a new esports league in India over the next five years in the league, which will include PC based games DOTA 2 and Counter Strike : Global Offensive.

Last year, Mountain Dew launched Dew Arena Gaming Championship with a prize pool worth INR 10 Lakhs. Many brands followed the bandwagon by announcing individual leagues and tournaments, thus encouraging and boosting the gamers and esports scenario.

Talking about the role of a team manager and esports scenario in India, Eklovya Dutta, Captain and In Game Leader of upcoming esports team FEROCIOUS believes that the role of the team captain is to make sure that there exist a discipline, cohesion, and structure within a team. As the team captain himself , he sets fixed goals to every member and encourages them to focus on playing the game and improvise while doing so. Esports is a massive industry and is gradually growing in India. However, lack of infrastructure, support and topsy-turvy management and self-pride can impair the esports scenario in India.” In order to compete with the International players, its important to focus on team game-play rather than changing the team member.”

The pro-gaming scene will further strengthen its hold in the Indian market considering the situation of Internet is improving in India. From 105th position and 4.1 Mbps speed till three months ago, the country has risen to 97th position on a global level with 5.6 Mbps of average connectivity speed.

Akamai’s State Of The Interne

To conclude, the competitive gaming market is growing at an exponential rate, media giants like ESPN are broadcasting the tournaments and competitions, and brands like NBA and YouTube are jumping into the world of esports. The positive synergies between companies, pro-gamers and developers can surely make esports the greatest sporting event.

Posted in Dota 2, League of Legends

Is League of Legends really worse than Dota2 ?? (as the elitist Dota2 veterans say)

(This article is for a common gamer out there. All of us do NOT play professionally.. And though, we want to get better in which ever game we play, we don’t aim to be an esport star).

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LoL or Dota2 ??

This is something that has been raging on since time immortal (okay, since those two games came into existence). And over the years, there have been countless articles written on this subject, debating which of the two titans is better.

One of most common attitude of Dota2 players, who act like douchbags, is to ridicule LoL players by calling the game casual, kiddy, meant-for-noobs, etc. Here are some of the things what you would usually hear from them:

  • League of Legends has a worse optimized and technologically inferior engine.
  • League of Legends meta is very strict and allows for very little variation and strategy.
  • Individual skill and performance in LoL is more reliant on execution and reflexes, whereas Dota 2 is more about strategy, tactics and utility.
  • Dota 2 is a much deeper and varying game.
  • BLAH, BLAH, BLAH…….

On the other hand, LoL players try to defend their game, though poorly.

To be honest, it simply depends on what you prefer. (But people understood it so easily, this whole article would have been useless)

Here, I am trying to prove that LoL is rather better than Dota2. (Thank me later, LoL players)

  1. League is more “newbie” friendly. Anyone who has played both the games know it. Dota2 players are less welcoming and are rather “cancerous”. On the other hand, LoL players are usually for friendly, and would welcome you to the game. (Nah, they don’t need to promote their game… LoL has an bigger base than Dota2)
  2. On comparing Skills, LoL takes the lead. The game has so much diversity between characters that playing a different hero often requires a very different mindset. Yasuo for example, has a spell that creates a wind wall in a direction that blocks all incoming enemy projectiles resulting in some really punishing team fights. Other than the uniqueness of skills, one major difference between the two games is how DOTA2’s skills level up, and deal a static amount of damage after a few levels. Some even become useless at later levels when enemies have high health pools and a skill does 300 damage. In LoL, skills share offense stats and scale with attributes. As a result, casters can do massive damage in their combos, taking out enemy caries. This attribute allows for build paths with more variation. (DOTA 2 has started introducing items that enable ability scaling as well, but LoL has had this feature from day one.)
  3. League champion abilities have smaller mana costs compared to DotA 2. The former encourages frequent use of skills and aggressive play in the laning phase, while in the latter you have to be mindful of your resources and utilize abilities strategically unless your hero has a way to regain used mana fast.
  4. Accessibility: Ask anyone who has spent time with both games and they will tell you that DOTA 2 is unforgiving. On the other hand, League of Legends is more accessible and less intimidating by comparison. In DOTA 2, the ‘denying’ mechanic and death penalty is so merciless that it is possible to leave an enemy quite useless later in the game, making things intimidating for newcomers. While recent DOTA 2 patches have tweaked things so that killing enemies with greater level advantages grants bigger gold bonuses, the core lockdown mechanic is still quite brutal. LoL is more balanced in this regard. For one, you cannot execute or deny your own lane minions, nor do you lose gold on death. While you can slow a player down, if things drag, an underperforming teammate can catch up and change the course of the match. This makes the game more fun.
  • League has faster animations in attacking, turning, moving, and using an ability compared to DotA 2, so a more fast-paced feel and gameplay is obvious on the former. Players who try both games may find the latter a bit lethargic.
  • Its a tough call whether the overall lower power cap of characters in LoL is a bad thing. It allows for some nice comebacks of a team that slipped behind earlier in the game.
  • One of the common argument, Dota2 players use is that LoL requires money to buy champions and other customizations. But, this is quite far from truth. You can buy Champions with Influence Points (IP), which you gain by playing the game. Riot rewards you quite well, and you gain IP even on losing games. Plus, there is an weekly rotation of free-to-play champions, which sort of force you to try out the new ones. (Dunno why exactly Dota2 veterans consider it bad)
  • LoL matches are usually shorter, lasting about 30 to 45 mins. But it is quite unpredictable, and you can’t say that a weaker team will surely lose, as the tides may turn around anytime.
  • Last but not the least, LoL doesn’t require less skills to play. This is downright absurd. Tell any Dota2 player to try out an game or two on LoL, and they would suck.

If you want just to have fun and relax in a game of this genre, go for LoL, you will have tons of fun. If you have group of 5 people with similar mindset – that’s even better, you’re gonna have even more fun!

(I know this article may seem incomplete right now, and I may discuss this in another post again)

Posted in CS:GO, Dota 2

Route Mobile founder to invest $10m in eSports in India, and launch an online league

COBX will launch an online domestic league, and an international league besides building an Indian team for international eSports championships.

2017 is turning out to be a watershed year for India’s eSports industry as three companies have announced plans to put big money to launch their respective leagues in the country.

After Ronnie Screwvala and Nazara Games, the founder of Route Mobile Rajdip Gupta is planning his eSports venture – COBX Gaming – that will invest $10 million to promote eSports in India. COBX will launch an online domestic league, and an international league besides building an Indian team for international eSports championships.

eSports is a $99.6 billion industry globally, as of 2016. Led by China, the Asia Pacific region controls 47% of the total market and 58% of the growth in the global games market comes from the Asia-Pacific region.  

market intelligence company Newzoo

Gupta plans to launch an online league in the second half of April, inviting participation from any team in India. “We have kept the total prize money of `10 lakh for the online championship, which may not sound big, but will surely attract gamers. The idea is to get the right talent and create a team that will take part in International majors,” he added.

COBX will also launch the first international eSports league in India by the end of this year. “We are focused on getting teams from 16 different countries in December for the international league, which will have a prize money of $300,000,” he added.

Posted in Dota 2, The International

The International will stay in Seattle despite concerns over US travel ban

Photo via Valve

For the sixth year in a row, the largest Dota 2event in the world will be heading to Seattle.

That’s in spite of concerns over U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order temporary halting immigration from several Muslim-majority countries.

The news was inadvertently revealed in apress release focused on the International 7’s cosplay competition.

The fact that Syria and Iran were on the list of banned countries raised the ire of the international Dota 2 community. Team Liquid captain Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi is an Iranian citizen, while Digital Chaos midlaner Omar “w33” Aliwi has Syrian heritage.

A number of teams and players from regions such as Southeast Asia, China, and Eastern Europe have struggled to acquire visas to attend the International since its relocation to the U.S. In 2016, LGD Gaming’s Xue “September” Zhichuan missed the event altogether after his visa application was denied four times.

In an extended roundtable discussion with PC Gamer on Feb. 10, Valve’s Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson were asked whether the executive order would influence affect the tournament’s location. “Ideally we’d run it here [in Seattle] because it has a bunch of advantages being close to our office,” Johnson replied. “But the event’s going to happen. So yes, if it became too difficult, we’d find a way.”

Launched in 2011 in tandem with the beta-release of Dota 2, the first International took place in Cologne during the annual GamesCom expo. Since 2012, however, the mega-event has taken place in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall and Key Arena.

Posted in Dota 2, The International

5 highest earning gamers in the world

Virtual gaming has evolved into one of the richest tournaments globally.

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Competitive video gaming has spiralled into a worldwide movement

Competitive video gaming, popularly known as eSports, has spiralled into a worldwide movement, garnering millions of spectators.

The virtual gaming platform has evolved into one of the richest tournaments globally, with the prize pool varying between $1 million and $20 million. To put that into perspective, the prize money for winning the Superbowl is USD 8.5 million, while the ICC Cricket World Cup is USD 10 million and UEFA’s Europa League is USD 9 million.

It’s also reported that eSports are likely to debut at the 2024 Los Angeles Olympics. Thus, with the increasing popularity, eSports has now attracted a number of participants from all across the world, all trying to perfect their craft. 

Here, we take a look at the five highest earning gamers in the world.


#1 Sahil Arora (UNiVeRsE)

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The Dota 2 veteran was also named the MVP by Redbull at the International 2015

American professional Dota 2player Sahil Arora, who goes by the alias ‘UNiVeRsE’ is the world’s highest eSports earner with total earnings of $2,720,623.84. The 27-year-old gamer is also the highest earner in all of the United States.

The biggest cash prize ever won by UNiVeRsE from a single tournament was $1,326,932.14 at the International 2015 Dota 2 Championships held in Seattle. His 1st place cash prize made up for almost 48.77% of the total prize money of the tournamenttal prize money of the tournament.

The Dota 2 veteran was also named the MVP by Redbull at the International 2015 (TI5) for his spectacular gameplay on Clockwerk and an incredible 5-man Echo Slam on his Earthshaker in Game 4 of the Grand Finals against CDEC Gaming.

On March 25, 2016, Sahil left Evil Geniuses (EG) to join Team Secret (TS). However, in June, Sahil left TS to join his previous team, after Team Secret finished last at The Manila Major 2016.

#2 Peter Dager (Ppd)

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Peter had a meteoric rise as he went on to win the TI5

CEO of the eSports organisation Evil Geniuses, Peter Dager, who uses the alias ‘Ppd’, stands second on the list of highest overall eSports earners with a staggering amount of $2,603,724. The acronym ‘Ppd’ comes from his alias “peterpandam, with which the 25-year-old gamer began his career.

Peter started gaming at a very young age, playing Heroes of Newerth, mostly with his older brother and friend. However, Peter had a meteoric rise as he went on to win the TI5 tournament as captain of Evil Geniuses. Eventually, he moved on to an administrative role in the Evil Geniuses’ organisation and later became the CEO.

Following The International 2016, he decided to leave active competition in order to prioritise his managerial role with Evil Geniuses. However, Peter has not officially announced his retirement as a professional. He has, in fact, joined WanteD for the upcoming Major as a part-timer.

#3 Sumail Hassan (Suma1L)

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Sumail is the youngest gamer to surpass $1 million in tournament winnings

Pakistan-born American gamer, Sumail Hasan is the third highest earner globally, with earnings of $2,401,560. Aged just 17, Sumail holds the Guinness World Record for being the youngest gamer to surpass $1 million in tournament winnings.

On February 9, 2015, ‘Suma1L’ reached the $100,000 mark after winning the $256,831.60 cash prize for finishing first at the Dota 2 Asia Championship in 2015.

Sumail was also featured in Time Magazine’s top 30 influential teenagers of 2016 and was the first ever Dota 2 player to be included in the magazine awards.

Sumail first started playing Dota when he was seven years old. However, it was UNiVeRsE, who was really impressed with his ability and pushed for EG to recruit him in January 2015. Following TI6, Sumail was rumoured to have departed from EG, but a few days later they announced that he had indeed re-signed.

#4 Clinton Loomis (Fear)

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Clinton ‘Fear‘ Loomis is an American veteran Dota 2 player from Medford, Oregon

Clinton Fear Loomis is an American veteran Dota 2 player from Medford, Oregon. The oldest Dota player until his retirement in 2016, Loomis is now a professional Dota 2 coach. Winning over a million dollars during his stint with EG, 28-year-old Loomis ranks fourth on the list with overall earnings of $2,372,459.

Chris also featured in the documentary ‘Free to Play’ alongside gamers Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin and Benedict Lim “hyhy” Han Long. However, following TI6, Chris retired from active gaming citing health issues and shifted his focus to being the team coach of EG.

#5 Li Peng (iceice)

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Peng achieved great success winning ESL One Manila 2016, The Summit 5 and the TI6

Li  Peng, who uses the alias ‘iceice’ is a Chinese Dota 2 player and currently, plays for Wings Gaming. Standing fifth worldwide with overall earnings of $1,980,996, Peng started his gaming career with team Big God.

In 2016, Peng achieved great success winning ESL One Manila 2016, The Summit 5 and Valve’s sixth International, the TI6. The numero uno player from China won his biggest cash prize worth $1,827,800.40 at the TI6 which made up 92.25% of total tournament prize money.

Li Peng is most famous for his characters ‘Rubik, the Grand Magus,’ ‘Zharvakko, the Witch Doctor’ and ‘Dazzle, the Shadow Priest.

Posted in Dota 2, The International

Wings becomes a top-earning esports team after winning The International

Over the weekend, Wings Gaming took home the trophy at 2016’s The International—and with it, a hearty $9.1 million dollars. Not bad. The Chinese team won the tournament with a 3 to 1 victory over Digital Chaos in the finals.

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Positioned now as the top-earning Chinese Dota 2 team, every member of Wings sits within the top 10 for highest earnings overall in esports. Wings is now the third Chinese Dota 2 team to win the The International, with the previous winners including Invictus Gaming , who won The International 2, and Newbee, who won The International 4.

Despite losing to Wings, Digital Chaos didn’t come out of the tournament empty-handed. The second place team took home more than $3 million in prize money. Evil Geniuses , who came in third, earned just over $2 million.
The total prize pool for The International 2016 ended up at 20 million, breaking last year’s record, and continues to be the highest prize pool in the esports world—topping many traditional sports prize pools as well.

Posted in Dota 2

EU Challenger Series/2016 Season/Summer Playoffs

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The 2016 EUCS Summer Playoffs will determine who will join the 2017 LCS Spring Promotion .

PRIZE POOL
1st            – € 9,000
2nd           – € 6,500
3rd/4th    – € 3,500

PARTICIPANTS

Epsilon eSports:
Satorius (Top)
Kirei (Jungle)
CozQ (Mid)
Woolite (AD)
NoXiAK (Support)

Huma:
Jwaow (Top)
Impaler (Jungle)
Caedrel (Mid)
Krislund (AD)
Wendelbo (Support)

Millenium:
Kaze (Top)
Djoko (Jungle)
Pretty (Mid)
Tabzz (AD)
masterwork (Support)

Misfits:
Alphari (Top)
Wisdom (Jungle)
Selfie (Mid)
Hans (AD)
IgNar (Support)

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Posted in Dota 2

The trouble with transparency in Valve’s Dota 2 invites

The International 2016’s qualifiers are over. The 18 teams who will travel to Seattle are set. At this time of the year, the building anticipation has the power to stall all other discussions in the Dota 2 world. Unfortunately, that includes the discussion of how we got here: How Valve determined who was invited to its tournament and who would have to compete in qualifiers.
All this has happened before and all this will happen again. Every time Valve announces invites to one of its majors, complaints arise about how its team determined who to invite. And, every time, the dust settles after a few weeks and we move on to other topics. Until the next major. It’s time for a proper investigation into Valve’s operating procedures with respect to its Dota 2 events to determine whether there is room for improvement.

Scrutinizing Valve’s process immediately presents itself as tricky because the process is opaque to us. How do we judge if Valve is making the best decisions possible if we don’t have access to its decision-making process? It seems that Valve feels it is unnecessary for other stakeholders to be able to inspect its processes, provided it offers satisfactory outcomes. As a private company, this sort of thinking is not unusual. But as a regulatory body dictating the workings of a competitive industry, questions need to be asked and answered.

The place to start would be to ask what exactly “direct invites” are. Does Valve hand out direct invites to particular teams because of some measure of objective merit, or is the decision completely at Valve’s discretion? The latter option allows for arbitrary judgement, which is obviously unwanted in a competitive field. Thankfully, all evidence suggests that the truth is the former, that Valve does have reasons for who it invites to its events.
Indeed, in the past year, some patterns in Valve’s invites have even become so consistent that we’ve come to treat them as norms, despite never being confirmed by the company itself. For example, the top four teams of the previous major have always been invited to the next one. Furthermore, there has always been at least one team invited primarily due to its achievements in non-Valve events.
So, it is clear that Valve does have an internal qualification process for “direct invites.” If you are directly invited to a major, it isn’t like getting a lucky invite to a cool party. It’s recognition that you’ve done something that qualified you to be at the event. What have you done? We don’t know. But Valve does. The question then becomes why the developer feels uncomfortable sharing its reasoning with us.