TNC Predator’s offlaner, Carlo ‘Kuku‘ Palad, will be taking a personal leave from the team and competitive gaming as a whole, following the Chongqing Major incident.
TNC Predator made the announcement earlier today in a post on their Twitter account.
In the same post, TNC Predator also announced who will be standing in for their former captain. The Philippine-based team tapped one of their former players, Ryo ‘ryOyr‘ Hasegawa, as their replacement for Kuku. ryOyr last played for Team Admiral earlier this season.
TNC Predator also clarified that Kuku remains part of their roster.
What Can We Learn from the Chongqing Major Incident?
They say that hindsight is 20-20. In Kuku’s case, it definitely is.
Kuku is hardly the first professional player to use a racial slur in a public match. However, he has become the unwilling example of what happens if things like this blow over; both for the players themselves and the organizations that they belong to.
TNC Predator’s attempt to lie and cover up the issue exacerbated what could’ve been a completely avoidable situation. As a result, TNC Predator received a hefty penalty for their actions — an official Valve-mandated ban for Kuku, a 20% DPC point penalty, and the subsequent firing of one of their managers.
Kuku is considered an icon by many Filipino fans. His performance on Huskar at The International 2016, where TNC Predator pulled off arguably the biggest upset in Dota 2 history against the then-favourites OG to secure a top 8 finish is widely heralded as the moment that put Philippines on the Dota 2 map.
Having said that, it’s understandable that the ban has outraged many of their fans. But, more importantly, TNC Predator will feel his loss the most; Kuku was their X-factor, the player willing to pull off the risky plays to put his team over the top. He is also their elder statesman. Not having him around will be a huge blow to their chemistry.
How his absence will affect the team will be seen next year once TNC Predator flies over to China for the Chongqing Major.
The Chongqing Major incident was also a good example of how to handle and NOT handle these types of situation. Lest we forget, Kuku was not the one who ignited the flames. Instead, it was Rolen Andrei Gabriel ‘Skemberlu‘ Ong who first used the racial slur. He also used it in a competitive match and at an official Valve-sponsored LAN tournament. However, instead of making excuses or covering it up, compLexity Gaming handled the situation quite well; they released a statement almost immediately after where they apologized for their player’s mistakes, and subsequently benching the said player involved.
It’s understandable that TNC Predator were hesitant to bench one of their star players, but their mishandling of the situation is unbecoming of a professional organization.
Hopefully, all of the parties involved in the Chongqing Major incident, as well as everyone else in the industry, learns from this and use it to better themselves going forward.