Pixel P&L: ByteDance's New Leadership and Valve's Historic Dota 2 Update

ByteDance appoints a new CEO for Moonton amidst internal turmoil, and Valve unveils its most significant Dota 2 update since 7.00.

Vignesh Raghuram
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Pixel P&amp;L


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Good Morning! It’s Friday, May 24. Today, we’re diving into ByteDance’s decision to hold onto Moonton like a gamer with their favorite mouse, Valve’s game-changing Dota 2 update that’s blowing minds, and more exciting geekery.

ByteDance Retains Moonton and Appoints New CEO Amid Turmoil

TikTok parent ByteDance has decided to retain Moonton Technology, the developer of the popular game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and has appointed a new CEO to lead the studio, according to South China Morning Post. Zhang Yunfan, a former executive at Perfect World, joined ByteDance in April to head the Shanghai-based studio.

Zhang's background includes leading Perfect World’s mobile game publishing business and overseeing the Chinese version of Dota2. His appointment signals a strategic shift for ByteDance, which had been contemplating selling Moonton.

The decision to keep Moonton comes as ByteDance continues to streamline its operations, focusing on core assets like Douyin and TikTok amid a slowdown in consumer spending and regulatory challenges. Last year, ByteDance announced it would shutter most unreleased game projects and sell rights to several titles, including Crystal of Atlan and Earth: Revival.

Valve Releases its Biggest Dota 2 Update Since 7.00

Dota 2's latest update, 7.36, has significantly altered the game, earning praise from players for Valve's efforts to refresh gameplay. The patch introduces innate abilities and hero facets, transforming every hero. Innate abilities, similar to League of Legends' passive skills, are unlocked at the start of each match, adding a new strategic layer to hero picks.

Hero facets, akin to League's rune system, allow players to customize heroes in unprecedented ways. Although the concept is familiar, Dota 2’s unique execution promises a distinct experience. The impact is comparable to cricket allowing batsmen to choose which bowler to face, drastically altering strategies and potentially changing game outcomes. The extent of these changes is that profound.

The update has generated significant excitement, with player numbers peaking at 910,847, the highest in the past 30 days. It’s evident that 7.36 is more than a mere patch; it represents a seismic shift in Dota 2 gameplay, and could spike interest in ongoing and upcoming esports tournaments including the Esports World Cup 2024 and The International 2024.

Quick Bytes

Rolling Stone reenters gaming media

Rolling Stone has reentered the gaming media scene with Rolling Stone Gaming, led by senior gaming editor Christopher Cruz. Launched in partnership with ESL FaceIt Group, owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), the section signifies a notable shift for the American website best known for its coverage of music, pop culture, and politics. The PIF has made significant investments in gaming companies like Capcom, Embracer, and Nintendo. This move follows Rolling Stone's previous gaming venture, Glixel, which shut down in 2017 after a brief run.

Sony could be making PlayStation mobile store for F2P games

Sony Interactive Entertainment could be developing a new platform for free-to-play mobile games, according to a recent job listing. This move comes as Sony seeks to enter the lucrative $90 billion mobile gaming market, following Microsoft's announcement of its mobile games store launching in July. The job listing for a mobile platform architect suggests Sony is creating a development platform to connect mobile games to PlayStation services, aiming to enhance their mobile gaming footprint.

Esportz Premier Series 2024 announced with a INR 25 Lakh Prize Pool

The fourth edition of the Esportz Premier Series, a yearlong esports championship, has been announced with a prize pool of INR 25 Lakh ($30k USD). The series will feature competitions in Counter-Strike 2, Free Fire MAX, EA FC24, and Assetto Corsa Competizione. This year introduces regional qualifiers in East, West, South, and North India, providing grassroots players with the opportunity to compete. Winners from these qualifiers will advance to the LAN Grand Finals. 

Musical Anime Gets India Release date

Anime film Blue Giant will hit Indian theaters on May 24, announced PVR Inox Pictures. Based on Shinichi Ishizuka's manga, the story follows Dai Miyamoto's journey into jazz after receiving a saxophone from his brother. Directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa and featuring music by jazz artist Hiromi Uehara, the film is animated by Studio Nut.

Did You Know?

The rivalry between Dota 2 and League of Legends (LoL) players stems from their origins. Both games trace their roots to the Warcraft III mod, Defense of the Ancients (DotA). Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, a key developer of DotA, and Steve "Pendragon" Mescon, who managed the DotA community, left to create LoL, released by Riot Games in 2009. Controversy erupted when Pendragon, upon joining Riot, deleted the popular DotA Allstars forum, where the DotA community thrived. This move was seen by many as a betrayal, deepening the divide.

This cultural clash was the original source of the animosity between the two communities in the early years.

Quote of the Day

A pen isn't mightier than a sword. Pens do not do battle, nor swords poetry. Mighty is the hand that knows when to pick up the pen, or pick up the sword."
- Wiegraf Folles, Final Fantasy Tactics

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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.