Valve bans a toxic Dota 2 pro after his team takes insufficient action

    
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No, our wholly predictable problems!

Herein lies the problem for Valve running Dota 2: The company doesn’t want to actually provide any rules or guidelines or moderation for the game’s community, but it also doesn’t want its professional players being publicly racist to Chinese players. So when a professional player does exactly that, what does Valve do?

Well, it sends a sternly worded letter to the pro’s team saying that the team should punish him. The team, having absolutely no obligation to do anything and being, well, a professional gaming team, takes no action except to dock his pay and make a donation in the team’s name. That didn’t make the problem go away, as Chinese tournament organizers reportedly warned that the player might be barred from attending anyway and couldn’t guarantee his safety. So Valve banned the player itself after weeks of hedging.

“TNC contacted Valve last Tuesday, asking if they would get a DPC point penalty for replacing Kuku; we told them that they wouldn’t,” Valve posted. “We assumed that they were then working on a plan to replace Kuku with another player. However it seems like TNC is currently not taking proper responsibility for their actions, coupled with the attempted cover up by the team, so we are now stepping in directly and banning Kuku from attending this event. To be clear, TNC is not the victim in this case. It is not okay to cover up the situation, avoid any real sense of responsibility and then deflect it onto the community. We expect them to disagree with this.”

If this sounds like a happy ending, it really isn’t; the bigger issue here is that the company still has no clear rules in place about how to handle these situations and took action against the player only after it was clear the hands-off approach was not calming the situation. In other words, for all Valve’s talk about wanting a welcoming community, it’s almost like that requires active work to cultivate the community and block folks fond of racist commentary before they become one of the faces of the game rather than after. But that’s moderation and that’s too hard, apparently.

Source: Kotaku

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flying_dutchman

Maybe it’s the anti-authority american in me, but does a game company really have the right to discipline a player for something they did when not in game?

Not to mention the player is a professional gamer. Does a gaming company really have the right to take away a players work for something they did not in game?

I’m not saying the player didn’t deserve punishment but that should come down from the league or the tournament, not Valve. I’m pretty sure moderating IRL actions isn’t in any game TOS I’ve ever seen.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Yes, game companies can ban you for any reason at all, from their games and from their professional esports league, the latter of which is happening here, as Valve literally controls the league. There’s also precedent for this exact thing – here’s SOE and Blizzard using IRL activities for moderation.

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Robert Mann

Competitive game companies in a nutshell. “Be nice. Seriously, we want you to be nice. Stop being mean. We might have to take action if you keep acting like a complete jerk. Okay, fine, guess after 200 warnings we should ban somebody.”

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Mr Poolaty

The MLB let a guy make Chinese eyes towards a pitcher after hitting a homerun in the world series and yet suspended him for the first 5 games of a 160 game season during the following year… Kinda shitty…dude shoulda been suspended during the world series imo…
Astros vs Dodgers 2017

flyingltj
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flyingltj

An action such as that should have got him dismissed from the team. Just goes to show that no one is watching baseball anymore. No one is watching, no one is following, and companies insist on throwing fistfuls of profits down the blackhole.

Wait… no one watching, no one caring, problems with racism, and tons of money being wasted? It’s exactly the same as esports!!!

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Moderation costs money and threatens potential profits. You can’t fault Valve for that.

Valve will use the occasional banhammer for any flareups that reaches Defcon 5, but that’s pretty much it.

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Pingly

Check into Valves profits. They have some spare cash laying around.

I do fault them.

You can’t just vacuum up all the money flying in and not turn any of it into protections for your players.

Well, you CAN. That’s what Valve does.

But you shouldn’t.

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Utakata

The weird thing about that, unmoderated behavior also threatens potential profits. Maybe even more so. The invisible hand of the market’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

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agemyth 😩

I like the idea of punishing the team for not taking care of problems their players cause. This took place at a pub game not an event, so I think the expectation would be for the team, the player’s employer, to take appropriate action.

Valve took action at the “league” level (though there is no official league) and banned the player from the next Valve event. That effectively means the team will have to drop the player. They punished the team directly by docking them 20% of their current qualifying points for the The International 2019 which wasn’t mentioned in the article.

flyingltj
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flyingltj

I still don’t care about esports.

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Sorenthaz

On one hand I can see why Valve doesn’t bother going tryhard against toxicity like Blizzard and Riot do (with Blizz it’s mostly for specific games) – it eats up a lot of resources and it’s ultimately a losing battle. That and a big part of the reason Blizz/Riot push hard against it is because they try to appeal to the casual masses and want the game to be 4funwithfriends. DotA 2… really doesn’t even try to have a casual appeal beyond maybe custom maps.

On the other hand, they really need to get their pro scene under control. I know they’re mostly hands off and rely on tournament organizers/etc. outside of The International, but it’s really silly when they have to do occasional stunts like this just to deal with a problematic player/team.

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starbuck1771

Hmm let’s see you used the term racist as well as professional player in the same story. He deserved worse.

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NeoWolf

I’m afraid I don’t really see the issue as being down to Valve having no definitive rules for conduct and consequence.

I mean really, do we need it in Black and White to say you should not be racist, sexist, homophobic, or discriminatory or offensive in any other regard in order for these people to understand it is not acceptable behaviour??? How is this not already a total GIVEN of just simple human decency?

How about the disgusting offender and those like him/her just learn what most of us learn in pre school i.e that being a di*k to other people is just not nice and to not do it because actions have consequences… enjoy your ban moron.

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starbuck1771

Correct it’s freakin common knowledge.

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Armsbend

Since the team was unwilling to do anything about it…and they are playing on Valve’s platform – I guess it does have to be printed in black and white.

Always remember who these people are. We all know them – we have have run across them before. They absolutely must have black and white rules.

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NeoWolf

If we are really at a place where we need to spell it out to people that it is not okay to be horrible to people then we as a species are in a very sorry place indeed. As I said some things shouldn’t need pointing out, let alone enforcing because they should ALREADY be obvious that they are not acceptable.

A very wise person once said “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.. and look what our stupidity did to him. About time we learned from our mistakes rather than repeat them.

Obvious things really should not NEED to be pointed out to people and the fact they had to be was noones fault except the individual who caused this i.e the one who was banned.

When did common decency become something people have to hope for rather than expect?

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

I’m also a fan of, “Be excellent to each other.”

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NeoWolf

Bill and Ted are never wrong :)

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kvlt_vonnegut

I mean yeah they shouldn’t but they clearly do.

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Tezencatli

It’s more a question of what is the appropriate level of action on the team’s part. The article says they docked his pay and made a donation in the team’s name. So clearly they felt that was adequate. That’s why the article calls into question Valve’s lack of guidelines. It’s not a question of whether the player did wrong. They most certainly did. But his team felt docking his pay was adequate punishment. If Valve wants to take a hard stance against this kind of behavior. They need to have it outlined just how bad the consequences will be. To prevent it rather than making a spectacle of it.

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NeoWolf

I disagree it is ENTIRELY a question of the player doing wrong, this fallout and all ensuing, surrounding messes relating to it for his team, for valve, for the pro gaming community etc.. are all down to this one individuals brain fart and lack of self control.
You only have to look at how offended the Chinese community were, let alone everyone else to see that a dock in pay was going to be WOEfully inadequate. And the fact the guy was anything but apologetic certainly didn’t help his case.

When it comes to racisim and discrimination the only way to stamp it out is ZERO tolerence. One message this is not acceptable, it is not tolerable and we will not stand for it.. period. Because when the penalty is mild and ineffective the message of “this is not acceptable” clearly does not stick or get taken seriously.

This was not a misspoken word, or a game handle, or even profanity, it was a racist statement it came from no good place and had no good connotation. It was intended to offend and it did. Like I said actions have consequences, his action..his consequences.

Banning him was the correct move, ideally they should have done it immediately, but as noted they thought the team would remove him and clearly they did not so they had to step in.

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Tezencatli

The article calls out Valve for not already having guidelines against racist outbursts already in place. If it’s unacceptable behavior than they should state it openly. Not leave the team to decide and then be surprised when the team doesn’t ban them. If you’re gonna leave that kind of wiggle room. Teams are going to take it to avoid losing one of their valuable players. Because, big shocker, not everyone holds the same level of morality. SO maybe direct a little bit of that outrage at Valve for leaving the door wide open for this kind of thing by taking a hands off approach to it till now.

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NeoWolf

Nope, all my (so called) outrage lol is where it squarely belongs, the individual who got banned. He deserved it, he was not just a pro gamer, he was a rolemodel as all so called professionals are. His mistake is just that, his and his alone. Neither Valve nor hsi Team should have to bear the blame for what HE did.

Far too often people look to pass the blame so they can avoid taking responsibility for the “choices” they make. This was his choice and his mistake.

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Tezencatli

No one is diverting the blame. The article is calling out Valve for not having rules in place to stop this kind of behavior in the first place. Only after someone is flat out racist at an esports event do they actively do something. And even then they passed the buck on to the team. Who in turn showed their true colors by just docking his pay. That player is already banned. Nothing more to be done about it. But Valve taking a sterner stance against that kind of behavior in their games. That can carry further value into the future.

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NeoWolf

Did you read my OP it seems like you maybe skimmed lol? only asking as your reading back events of what transpired to me as though I didn’t know??? And yet my OP and later posts clearly refer to the very issues you note and why it is not Valves responsibility but the racists and how it should not fall to Valve of his Team to impose self control on player that he should have imposed upon himself by not being a douche to begin with causing all this mess.

Also he was not banned he had his pay docked and given to charity, which many many people did not find enough and that is why Valve stepped in and Banned him. Soemthign they have stated they already expected the team to do but they chose the softly softly approach instead, which was not sufficient.

The issue here has never been about people calling for more than the ban, the ban is correct. The issue here that has been discussed at least as far as my comments have gone is how it was not and should not have been down to Valve or his team to step in, the go was supposedly a pro and role model and he should have known better to begin with and conducted himself with some dignity and not been racist to begin with. As I said this is not the sort of thing you should have to tell people is wrong, it should just be OBVIOUS.

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Robert Mann

We shouldn’t… but this is competitive PvP gaming at, er, normal.

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Greaterdivinity

Valve: We want no responsibility for anything because that requires us to do something. Please solve everything yourselves and give us money while you do it.

Kisses,
Gaben

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Bruno Brito

That’s the gist of it.

TF2 players suffer hell.