Confirmed: Kuku banned from Chongqing Major as Valve steps in

Dota 2 publisher Valve has finally broken its silence on the controversy surrounding TNC Predator player Kuku and the forthcoming Chongqing Major in China.

Valve has confirmed Kuku will not be allowed to play at the event in China, which due to start on January 19, 2019.

Reports had been circulating that Filipino player Kuku would be banned from the Major after using an anti-Chinese racist term during an online game in November.

The apparent intervention by government officials had angered many members of the Dota 2 community, with TNC Predator "considering its options" and broadcast talent threatening to boycott the event.

TNC had issued a number of statements on the matter, including announcing that team manager Paulo Sy had been fined for attempting to cover up the scandal.

Valve's lack of response had also been criticised after previously only commenting to tell teams to deal with issues of prejudice in-house.

However, the publisher on Tuesday made its first statement specific to Kuku and TNC Predator, saying:

  • Kuku is not banned by the Chinese government
  • Kuku is, however, banned by Valve
  • There is "anxiety" around his attendance but "no security threat"
  • TNC Predator "mishandled the situation"
  • TNC will lose 20% of their current DPC tally

Kuku tweets and deletes

Shortly after Valve announced the ban, Kuku posted on Twitter, writing "Let us all respect Valve's decision and end this drama, spread love not hate. Thanks to all."


But the 22-year-old subsequently deleted the tweet and, in fact, removed all previous posts from his Twitter page.


Valve's statement on Kuku and TNC Predator

In a statement published on the Dota 2 blog, Valve said:

We’ve been following the recent situation regarding TNC and the Chongqing Major and how it has unfolded. First, for clarification, Kuku is not banned by the Chinese government. While there is a lot of anxiety around his attendance and problems it may create, we do not believe his presence creates a real security threat.

Our view on the situation is that responsibility resides with teams to handle these types of issues professionally. When they fail to do so, we will step in. While it is one thing to make a mistake and apologize, it is quite another thing for the team to lie about it or try to create cover for an individual player. TNC has mishandled the situation on multiple occasions, making the situation much worse than it needed to be.

TNC contacted Valve last Tuesday, asking if they would get a DPC point penalty for replacing Kuku; we told them that they wouldn’t. 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.

Players and teams will make mistakes in the future, and they should accept responsibility for them. We want there to be opportunities to learn from their errors, but taking responsibility doesn’t mean making mistakes don’t come with a cost. Covering up the situation is not an acceptable approach to the problem, and demonstrates poor decision making from TNC that requires accountability. In addition to being required to replace Kuku, we will also be docking 20% of TNC’s current DPC points. The player restriction does not affect future tournaments.

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