Dota 2 casters have announced that they will be boycotting the upcoming Chongqing Major in China because they felt that the tournament has unfairly banned Filipino player Carlo “Kuku” Palad.
The ban was imposed after Kuku used racist language aimed against Chinese players during a pub match. This followed an earlier incident when another Filipino player, Andrei “skem” Ong formerly of compLexity Gaming, also made a derogatory statement against an opposing Chinese team during a live match in the DreamHack DreamLeague Season 10 tournament back in November.
In light of the situation, some casters and talent have announced that they will be boycotting not only the Chongqing Major, but also The International 2019 (TI9), which will be held in Shanghai, China.
The first to announce his boycott was Grant “GranDGranT” Harris, a North American player-turned-caster.
If kuku isn’t allowed to play at the major I refuse to cast officially for the major , we all make mistakes and 1 mistake should not forbid you from playing at a tournament that potentially decides your whole career
— Grant Harris (@GranDGranT) December 2, 2018
Harris had long been a well-known personality and an insider in the North American professional Dota scene before getting his casting break only recently. Many have applauded his gesture, as he has put his casting career on the line in support of Kuku.
In response to Harris’ boycott, David “GodZ” Parker said that he will also not attend the tournament if the ban was coming from the Chinese government and not Dota 2 developer Valve Corporation.
It's the same for me as long as the ban is coming from Chinese local government and not Valve. Just waiting to see what Valve say about it (if anything).
— David Parker | Godz (@BTSGoDz) December 2, 2018
Parker is one of the founders of the esports production company BeyondTheSummit, one of the most prolific Dota casters, and a fervent supporter of Southeast Asian Dota.
Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg has also announced that he will refrain from attending the Major, TI9, or any other event in China unless the ban was lifted or the Major’s inclusion in the Dota Pro Circuit is removed.
same 🙂 i'm not going to any valve event thats in china unless the ban is lifted or dpc is removed. Including TI9. https://t.co/cI8BKuWryL
— Henrik Ahnberg (@AdmiralBulldog) December 2, 2018
AdmiralBulldog was a TI3 champion with Alliance and is currently a co-owner of the team, one of the biggest Dota 2 streamers on Twitch, and often hired as an analyst for Dota 2 tournaments.
The Chongqing Major seems to be facing a shortage of caster and analyst talents as a number of other big names will not be attending the tournament for other reasons.
The caster-host couple of Owen “ODPixel” Davies and Jorien “Sheever” van der Heijden will not be attending the tournament because the latter will be having reconstructive surgery and the former will be helping with her recovery.
At the end of December I’ll have my reconstructive surgery (intense 9 hour operation). Afterwards I’ll need some time to recover which is why I can not attend any events in January. I will be bossing around Owen instead of a panel ☺️
Thanks for understanding ❤️ https://t.co/48ZX9RxW0q
— Sheever (@SheeverGaming) December 2, 2018
The well-known esports host Paul “RedEye” Chaloner also said that he will decline to replace Sheever as host, if he is asked to, in support of the boycott.
1. I was not invited to the Major, I announced that weeks ago.
2. In the event of Sheever not being able to attend (as she has confirmed), I will not be replacing her if asked.
3. I support those who will not attend as a stand of principle.
— Redeye (@PaulChaloner) December 2, 2018
The Chongqing Major organizers and Valve have yet to issue public statements on both the bans and the boycott of talents from the tournament.