Dota 2 scandals: 5 high-profile conflicts of 2021

Alisa Barladyan
29 Dec 2021

2021 was full of various conflicts and huge scandals in Dota 2. We can't say they happened every week. However, a few times a month something was interesting that was discussed in the entire community. Some scandals amused us and made us smile, while others annoyed us and made us suffer. But most importantly, they were. It is always interesting to watch conflicting media personalities. And if it is not a dispute but an opinion of people who have different views, the conflict is especially interesting. There were not very many such situations, but not a few either. Read about high-profile Dota 2 scandals in 2021 in the material.

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LighTofHeaveN was fired from The International 10


One of the last scandals of this year was during The International 10. Dmitriy "LighTofHeaveN" Kupriyanov was fired in one of the final days of the tournament. This is how it was. ArtStyle and Solo were in analytics and discussed various heroes, strategies, and teams for 40 minutes. They often argued and never reached an agreement. When analytics ended, and LighTofHeaveN appeared on the air, he noticed this curious fact. He said that such disagreement between ArtStyle and Solo was a "wake" for Natus Vincere, as the former was a team coach and the latter was a captain. And there is no synergy between them.

After that, it became known that LighTofHeaveN was fired from The International 10. According to Dmitriy, the reason was the word "wake", which violates the tournament rules. However, these rules were not announced and nobody saw them. This fact was confirmed by many talents of The International 10. And the Valve employee confirmed the reason for the dismissal to LighTofHeaveN.

The feedback was simple. Yes, indeed, according to Valve, you can't criticize your colleagues, especially if they don't like it. Thus, as the criticized (that is, ArtStyle and Solo) were not happy, and the other guys who didn't like me supported them, of course, they asked me to quit my job. And then the decision was made.

Dmitriy "LighTofHeaveN" Kupriyanov

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According to another version, LighTofHeaveN left the tournament himself, but it doesn't sound logical. In any case, the community was divided, and the fuss about Dmitriy's dismissal wasn't over until the end of The International 10.

I'd like to say that Dmitriy either has very bad advisors or he just tries to hype. And it works. Valve did not fire him or take him off the air, nobody did anything to him.

Vitalii Volochai

Maincast struck the Nix's channel

Aleksandr "Nix" Levin

There were many disputes and conflicts about the "caster's community" in 2021. These are people (streamers and other popular personalities) who cover official Dota 2 matches on their broadcasts. Studios dislike them because they take away their viewers, so the "casters' community'' is often banned. Though if a streamer follows all the rules, then there is nothing to ban him for.

An amazing story related to this happened in early June, during the WePlay AniMajor. This tournament was covered by Aleksandr "Nix" Levin, a professional player and popular streamer. 12,000-15,000 people watched his broadcasts. It got Nix banned on Twitch at one point because of someone's complaint. And for a long time, it was impossible to understand whose complaint it was.

Aleksandr, we are grateful for your criticism and inquiry. We consider you a wonderful streamer and of the main people in the Russian-speaking Dota 2 community. However, you violated copyright laws, using the exclusive video made by Maincast during your broadcast on the Twitch platform. Also, we would like to point out the fact that your use of third-party advertising banners unrelated to the Major broadcast is officially prohibited by the tournament operator represented by WePlay esports and regulated by Valve's rules of coverage.

Dota 2 Maincast

It soon became known that Maincast was in charge of the ban. Nix turned on that studio's video on the stream (which is forbidden by the rules) and had no idea that he shouldn't have done it. He just wanted to entertain his audience but got banned. No one from Maincast tried (or wanted) to contact Alexander and ask him to turn off the video. He was just striving to get more viewers on the broadcast.

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It's not human what they're doing at all. To be honest, I am surprised. They can destroy my channel so that one day they have a plus online. As if we were in some kind of war. I had no idea about this, honestly. I treated this studio well. If I had known that those kinds of people were sitting there, I would have never turned on their videos in my life. I couldn't even have suspected that people could do that. To sit there sending watchdogs who would sniff out my every sound to get me banned. That's not human at all. I lost faith in humanity after that situation.

Aleksandr "Nix" Levin

The ban was removed after two days, so Nix could watch the final days of the tournament and more than 20,000 people came to watch the broadcasts. The scandal was huge, and almost everyone knew about it. Many people decided to support Aleksandr and came to his broadcast. As a result, Nix Levin got first place in the WePlay AniMajor 2021 Dota 2 community casters ranking.

The coach of Alliance helped the team during games


No one could deny that Alliance lost the last DPC cycle. Nevertheless, the team played wonderfully in the second season and managed to finish the league with a score of 6-1, thus making it to TI10. Peter "ppd" Dager turned out to be the reason for this winning streak. During the official matches, he was in Discord with his players and helped them, coordinating the game. In other words, Alliance used six people during the games, while the other teams used five.

When this came out, there was a real war. N0tail started this war by accusing Alliance of all sorts of evils. The other OG players joined him.

No one was ever allowed to talk to a coach while playing Dota. There is zero respect for the cheaters. It's like when macros were used: people stated that "it's not against the rules" and "I still need to know when to use them". LOL.

Johan "N0tail" Sundstein

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That's where cybersports analyst Ben "Noxville" Steenhuisen stepped in. According to him, three different sources informed him that before the beginning of the DPC second season, the tournament operator changed the rules and allowed players to use a coach during official matches. The developers notified the cybersports organizations about it with an e-mail. Almost all European teams knew about it, except OG, but only Alliance used the playing coach.

The new rules turned out to be introduced only in the CIS and Europe. It was initiated not by Valve but by the tournament operators — ESL and DreamHack, who did not inform the developers about it. In other regions, the DPC regulations remained the same. When the hype began, Valve obliged the tournament operators to prohibit coaches to sit in Discord with the team and to help the players during official matches. The scandal continued for a long time, and Alliance and OG blamed each other for a long time.

Trash talk of Team Spirit, OG, and Invictus Gaming

Team Spirit

Trash talk is an integral part of the sport, which makes any confrontation more spectacular and exciting. There is little trash talk in esports and Dota in particular, so its appearance is perceived passionately. This year there were three clear examples of trash talk that took place right during the game. Let's remember all of them.

During the match for top-6 at The International 10, there was a fight between Team Spirit and OG. The CIS team somehow managed to win the first map, but on the second map, they destroyed their opponent. At one point, after winning a fight, the "Dragons" mider TORONTOTOKYO wrote the phrase "ez game" in the general chat, mocking the already defeated opponent.

10 minutes later, the game ended in favor of Team Spirit. Many people began to blame the team for the disrespectful treatment of the titled opponent. Some claimed that it's unacceptable, while the others said that the OG players often use trash talk themselves, so "it serves them right". The truth lies somewhere in between. There is nothing terrible in this phrase, but it is not honorable to write it to a team that has already lost.

It's unacceptable. You play and don't respect your opponents. Your opponent is the highest-profile team, and you write something to them in the chat. You're too lippy? Go to the interview later and say: "I am so cool, it was an easy game, good job!" Writing in general chat is like pouring a bucket out of a window.

Alexander "XBOCT" Dashkevich

OG changed their roster, and now ATF (Ammar), a 16-year-old kid with no brakes who insults everyone from Puppey to Yatoro, plays there. And he does it in a very original way. He buys Mantles of Intelligence in almost won games and throws them on his opponent's fountain as if to imply that his opponent doesn't have enough brains to defeat him. It always looks hilarious and rude. Nobody has used Mantles of Intelligence like this before. Of course, this behavior immediately caused a lot of hate, both towards Ammar himself and the OG.

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We let Ammar be himself. Let him do what he wants. It's just for fun, you can write anything in the chat at TI. The developers, the people want you to have bad manners. It's funny. It doesn't do any harm. People don't get offended.

Mikhail "Misha" Agatov


The most interesting case of trash talk this year occurred in the ONE Esports Singapore Major grand final. Then Evil Geniuses and Invictus Gaming fought against each other. The Chinese team lost with a score of 0-2. On the third map, they were also close to a loss without scoring a point. The situation was fixed by the team's mider (Emo), thanks to whom IG took the map.

After that Emo wrote only one character in the general chat — "?". Of course, it was risky because his team was still losing 1-2 in the series. If they had lost in such a situation, then all the negativity of the Dota 2 community would have been directed at Invictus Gaming. However, the team managed to win, and it was Emo who made the biggest contribution to the victory. He spurred himself and his whole team on with such trash talk. A perfect example of trash talk used. The best in the history of Dota 2.

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GeneRaL was kicked from Natus Vincere


The main Dota 2 conflict, at least for Russian-speaking users, started at the beginning of April, when Natus Vincere kicked GeneRaL out. Before that, the team had performed well in the regional league and managed to take second place, but then missed the Major because of coronavirus. A bit later GeneRaL left the team.

According to Viktor, his teammates kicked him out, having agreed to do it behind his back "like rats". Plus, they broke the promise to play together for the rest of the season. Such arguments turned out to be strong for the CIS residents, and everyone was throwing mud at Natus Vincere for several days. By the way, NAVI itself was to blame for this, since its representatives could not make any official statement or somehow explain the situation. They didn't even really say goodbye to GeneRaL, he was simply written off to the warehouse "on demand".

Professional Dota 2 is an escalator that moves against you. Everything is against you, a huge competition, meta... everything is moving, and you need not just to play well, but you need to play very well. You need to catch up and overtake everything, and this is quite difficult. You must understand that you need to work very hard. I would even say that not everyone can do this. Someone simply does not have enough introspection, self-criticism, self-improvement, and he simply cannot be better than another player with these qualities.

Viktor "GeneRaL" Nigrini

Natus Vincere began to do something only a few days later when the hatred came to its peak. The organization released a video in which NAVI players told why they decided to kick GeneRaL. It would be better if they didn't do it, as the video turned out to be just awful. It did not calm people down but provoked even more hatred, which did not subside for weeks and even months.

The story ended only when the new Natus Vincere roster lost in the TI10 qualifiers. Then GeneRaL once again laughed at the former teammates, and little by little people began to forget about this story. This case is an exemplary scandal that left no one indifferent. All CIS doters were divided into two camps: those who hate NAVI, and those who condemn Viktor's rhetoric.

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