Dota 2 Tournament Drops Host, Gabe Newell Calls Him An "Ass" [UPDATED WITH RESPONSE]

"James is an ass."


[UPDATE] Harding has now posted a full response in this public Google Doc.

He said he was planning to release a statement sooner, but Valve asked him to put it "on ice." Resolving the matter privately would have been better for everyone he said, but, in part because Gabe Newell calling him an "ass" affects his business reputation, he decided to share his side of the story.

He admits to making "edgy" jokes, including some about porn, and says it was this segment in particular that got him fired [YouTube link].

"This event like normal I was very good to work with off-camera. I was pushing entertainment on camera. Sure with some edgy jokes here and there," he said. "I was told to be myself. Then maybe someone said 'nope' that's not what I want. Which is fine I guess, But handled very unprofessionally. This sucks because the community seemed to be enjoying it.

"Or maybe someone is like, 'I hate him. How do I get my way, This is personal.' Maybe someone is whispering in your ear Gabe. Maybe not."

You can read the full statement here--it has loads more details and context.

The original story is below.

Valve boss Gabe Newell took to Reddit today to confirm that Dota 2 Shanghai Major host James "2GD" Harding was fired after just one day at the tournament. He said Valve has had issues with him in the past but some at Valve lobbied to have him return for the Shanghai event. "That was a mistake," Newell said.

No Caption Provided

Here is the complete statement:

"Two things:

1) James. We've had issues with James at previous events. Some Valve people lobbied to bring him back for Shanghai, feeling that he deserved another chance. That was a mistake. James is an ass, and we won't be working with him again.

2) As long as we're firing people, we are also firing the production company that we've been working with on the Shanghai Major. They will be replaced, and we hope to get this turned around before the main event."

PC Gamer has more details on this story. The site reports that Harding is "known for his willingness to push people's buttons in order to get a laugh." It is not immediately clear why exactly Harding was let go, but PC Gamer says he was "irreverent" during the first day of the event, "sometimes openly mocking certain pro players." He also reportedly used "off-color humor and language."

GameSpot has followed up with Valve in an attempt to get more details and will update this post with anything we hear back.

Harding says he is currently contemplating whether or not to release a statement and share his side of the story.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 163 comments about this story