Astro’s Facebook page has been bombarded with requests from Dota 2 fans to broadcast the upcoming Dota 2 International Championship 2015. This was triggered by an interview with Malaysian Dota 2 star Mushi on Astro Supersports. The requests have even resulted in a Change.org petition going live.
It is difficult to argue with the popularity of esports in Malaysia, and around the world for that matter. While Riot Games’ League of Legends is arguably the more popular game, Valve’s Dota 2 consistently manages to provide the larger prize pool and media coverage. Dota 2’s The International 2014 was broadcast live on ESPN last year, and drew some interesting response from the station’s more traditional sports minded viewers.
Admittedly, esports are more likely to draw a younger crowd. The appeal of the competitions lost on the older generation who often still see it as a bunch of kids playing video games.
The Change.org petition has already been signed by over 2,400 people; and is only a handful of signatures away from its goal of 2500 signatures. The Mushi interview, which has been posted to Astro Supersport’s personality Lez Ann‘s Facebook page, has drawn over 20,000 views and resulted in Dota 2 fans simply spamming the comments of every Astro post with TI5 information.
Astro has responded to the requests by saying that it does not have the broadcast rights for the tournament. Although it would not be difficult to imagine that the rights themselves should not be too difficult to secure from Valve. To be fair, Astro has changed its response after the initial flood of requests and has said that it is forwarding the comments to the relevant department. TI5 runs from 3 -5 August 2015, and can be watched through Dota 2 itself or over the official Twitch stream.