Chinese fans happy after Dota 2 esports player is banned from a major tournament for a racist slur
In an unprecedented move, Dota 2’s owner Valve says it will ban Dota 2 player Kuku from attending a major tournament in China after he typed out “ching chong” in chat during a game.
While Valve’s intervention might have come a little later than many would have wanted, many Chinese fans online seem to be happy with Valve’s latest punishment for the Filipino player.
“Cool. I can now top up my Steam account. Although how Valve has handled it might have come a little late, it’s still fair,” one of the most upvoted comments in a Chinese forum said. (Steam, the world’s most popular PC game retail platform, is owned by Valve.)
Wait, what does Steam have to do with it? Well, Steam, the world’s top PC gaming platform, is owned by Valve. And, infuriated by Valve’s lack of punishment (at first) for Kuku, they boycotted Steam.
Valve has been known to be hands-off with esports tournaments, but this time, anger amongst Chinese fans almost reached a boiling point.
TNC Predator, the team which Kuku is on, tweeted that the Chinese government urged the team not to play Kuku during the tournament because his “safety could not be guaranteed” should he insist on showing up. The team’s other tweets also said that the Chinese government was trying to stop Kuku from participating the tournament altogether.
There’s no proof that the government was involved, and in its latest statement Valve denied that Kuku was banned by authorities.
The whole saga left Chinese gamers feeling so offended that an army of them decided to drive down Dota 2’s overall rating, flooding its review section with thousands of negative comments.
But many Western fans -- while acknowledging that the comments were racist -- felt that a ban on players was a result of a “mob justice”.
Notably, before Valve issued its official ban, several famous Western casters who were scheduled to work at the Chongqing Major said they would boycott the tournament if Kuku and Skem were banned.
They changed their tune when Valve’s official verdict came out, with those casters saying that they are on board with the decision and ready to move on.
Judging by recent online reaction, Chinese gamers now seem to be satisfied by Valve’s one-game ban on Kuku as well as the 20% Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) point penalty on TNC Predator. And the other player, Skemberlu, has been released by his team.
One of the most upvoted comments said, “I hope other teams won’t be as boneheaded. Stay off my lawn and I’ll stay off yours.”