It's a surprise return no one expected.
James "2GD" Harding, one of the OG (not the esports team) Dota 2 talents, made a surprise appearance at the first day of the The International 2022 (TI11) panel being hosted in Norway. No Return Valve
Walking in nervously and gulping down a drink, 2GD (pronounced "too good") said his "adrenaline was killing him" and he was "very, very excited to be back on camera after eight years".
Technically though, it's been six years since he was fired and banned by Valve from appearing after a disastrous stint at the Shanghai Major 2016. 2GD last hosted The International 2014.
"If you're wondering where I was, it was low priority, not sure who reported me, but I'm here now," joked 2GD.
2GD had not been on the list of talent Valve had previously announced to be appearing at TI11, so his return sparked much discussion on the livestream chats, especially given his previous departure from Valve events.
The 2016 Shanghai Major was plagued with production problems, with long waits between matches, and audio issues.
2GD was let go by Valve for "unspecified reasons" after a day and a half of hosting, though he had been making crude jokes, remarks about Chinese censorship, and more while on air. You can view the remarks here, which start at the 55 minute mark.
After the firing, 2GD then confirmed the decision was made by Valve.
Gabe Newell, Valve's president, then posted on reddit to call 2GD "an a—, and would not be working with him again".
The statement also said that Valve had fired the Shanghai Major production company in an attempt to turn things around.
It seems like time can heal all wounds, and 2GD's appearance at TI11 is a sign that Valve can change its mind.
TI11's Main Event will be a double-elimination bracket and is split into two phases, the first being held from 20 to 23 October while the second will take place from 29 to 30 October.
For everything you need to know about TI11, check here.
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com
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