Dota 2's Chongqing Major alleged player ban sparks possible boycott

The upcoming tournament faces a talent boycott after the Chinese government allegedly banned a Filipino player.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read
Aloysius Low/CNET

A storm has been brewing over the upcoming Dota 2 Chongqing Major.

The million dollar tournament for the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game is set to be held in the city of Chongqing, China, but talent such as casters and analysts have threatened to boycott the event over the possible ban of a Filipino player.

Carlo "Kuku" Palad, who plays for Filipino team TNC Pro Team, had earlier made a racist comment offensive to Chinese players in a public game, a matter he has since apologized for. Dota 2's developer Valve had also weighed in on the controversy, stating in a blog post that "Valve would not tolerate racist languages between pro players in any form."

"We think it is really damaging to the entire Dota community whenever even a single professional player uses discriminatory language," said Valve in the same post.

With only five Majors for this Dota 2 Pro Circuit season, attendance matters, as teams need to secure enough points for an invite to the International taking place next year, with an estimated prize pool of possibly $25 million up for grabs  

Unfortunately, the incident seems to have not been resolved, as Dota 2 casters then broke the news that Palad would allegedly be banned from attending the event by local government officials. This was before TNC had qualified for the Major.

With TNC winning a qualifier spot and Palad's attendance yet unknown, Dota 2 personalities threaten a boycott if Palad is banned from attending. Grant Harris, who has been invited to cast at the event, posted on Twitter earlier Sunday that he would skip the event. He was also joined by other personalities.

TNC Pro Team also posted a Twitter update, having reached out to the organizers of the Major, and were told that Palad may either be banned from attending the event, or that city officials would cancel the Major should he attend. The organizers also mentioned being unable to guarantee the safety of Palad, but added that Palad wasn't banned from attending.

Despite the ongoing controversy, Valve hasn't made a response. Last week, the company launched a version of its Steam client for China and signed an agreement with the Shanghai government to host The International 2019, the esports tournament with the biggest prize pool in Shanghai.

CNET has reached out to Valve for comment.

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