Recently it was announced that Valve will be parting ways with Nexon, their official Dota 2 distributor in the Republic of Korea.
For those of you unaware Westerners, Valve has signed various contracts in the East with gaming companies so that their games are better localized and promoted by members of incredibly large gaming communities. Maybe you’re familiar with Perfect World, Dota’s distributor in China, or Nexon, who up until now was Dota’s distributor in the Republic of Korea. They also help with MapleStory among other gaming services very popular in the country.
However, Valve has decided that enough is enough and they have broken ties with the company for reasons unknown. People speculate that this could be due to Dota’s unpopularity in the Republic of Korea. Considering the craze that Stacraft receives and the striking similarities between Dota 2 and Starcraft as opposed to LoL, it is certainly weird that Koreans would choose to play League of Legends over Dota. This is certainly due to a lack of a marketing campaign in Korea for the game in addition to a lack of an eSports scene (only two Korean teams have been remotely relevant in Dota and they weren’t even fully Korean) and perhaps Valve is planning on changing Dota’s images by tackling the problem themselves.
This has already affected the Korean scene though, as many of the tournaments held by Nexon have disappeared in addition to many of the Nexon-exclusive items disappearing as well (though they will remain in players’ inventories). Now the Korean and Japanese Dota servers will be run directly through Steam, instead of the Nexon servers. Hopefully this improves the Korean Dota 2 scene rather than weaken it any further.