Valve penalizes TNC Predator and bans Kuku from the Chongqing Major

Valve penalizes TNC Predator and bans Kuku from the Chongqing Major

The Dota 2 community is in a very controversial situation right now. Following multiple weeks of outcry and a potential player ban by the Chinese government, Valve has finally broken its silence. Today, valve issued a public statement on the official Dota 2 Blog about TNC Predator and the Chongqing Major.

Valve blames TNC for the entire situation

Kuku publicly typed a racist term in a normal match. IT was not a competitive match but there was already a huge amount of attention on Skem from Complexity Gaming for the same. As such the Chinese community took offence at the word. The logical solution would be to issue an apology and appropriately punish the player. However, TNC decided to divert the issue with false statements. This was easily caught by the public and it angered the Chinese community even more.


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 a cover for an individual player. TNC has mishandled the situation on multiple occasions, making the situation much worse than it needed to be.

TNC’s mishandling of the situation escalated the problem to its current situation. Valve wanted to remain a silent observer and let things play out on their own. But with TNC’s mishandling of the entire situation, things got out of control. It was necessary for Valve to step in and they did not respond in kindness to the organisation.

Valve ban Kuku, fine TNC 20% of DPC points.

Valve confirmed that the Chinese government did not ban Kuku from the Chongqing Major. However, they also were not happy with TNC’s handling of the situation. Despite having an open line of communication, TNC also published public tweets. The intention was to garner public support and they did succeed to a large extent. However, this only further alienated them from Valve. TNC had approached Valve for a clarification on their penalty points if they used a stand-in. With Valve asserting that TNC will not receive a fine for the use of a stand-in, they assumed TNC will use a stand-in.

TNC was in constant communication with Valve.


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.

However, TNC proceeded to continue with Kuku and even sway public opinion. In one of their latest tweets, TNC Predator indicated that they will take a decision on their attendance at the event. This blatant blindsiding by TNC Predator did not go down well with Valve. Their decision to ban Kuku and fine TNC Predator 20% of their current DPC points is harsh, but a necessary one.