When you speak of Dota 2 bans, the word “322” often comes to mind; a term famously coined after current Virtus Pro captain Alexei ‘Solo‘ Berezin found himself in the wrong end of a betting fraud against zRage while playing for RoX back in June 2013. Though initially banned for life by Starladder, the ban was eventually reduced to one year, and Solo have since righted his ways.
While Solo received a second chance and is now the captain of one of the best Dota 2 teams in the world, other professionals who received permanent Dota 2 bans are not as lucky. Take for example, Bryan Freddy ‘SmAsH‘ Machaca Siña, who took to Reddit earlier this month to air his side of the story of why he was permanently banned from Valve events nearly two years ago.
— SmAsH (@FreddySmAsH) December 9, 2017
Many gave their support to SmAsH, perhaps touched by his side of the story. Some even hoped that one day Valve decides to revisit his case and that of many others. However, plenty also gave the Peruvian mid player little sympathy. Or at least, made it clear that SmAsH had made his proverbial bed and now he has to lie in it.
Username ridewiththerocks wrote, “I sympathize with both teams (referring to Arrow Gaming, whose players also received a lifetime ban), but playing as a pro on Valve’s circuit is a privilege not a right.”
This then begs the question, are Valve’s Dota 2 bans for match-fixing too harsh?
Valve’s Lifetime Dota 2 Bans Are Too Long
Not that i lack empathy. But, living conditions in MVP was suuuper shit a lot of the times. Afaik, Rave's living sitch sucked too. None of us succumbed to fixing games. The result is that most of former mvp/rave are doing alright as to being banned.
— SunBhie (@SunBhieDota) December 10, 2017
While I do agree that Dota 2 and other Esports titles need such punishments in place to prevent rampant scandals, the fact is that taking away someone’s dreams and opportunities for a lifetime is too much of a punishment. Especially now that Valve pretty much control Dota 2’s entire competitive system.
These days, banned professionals who are still hoping to make a living out of Dota 2 are forced to join tournaments not backed by Valve, which not only are scarce, but also do not pay as much. Not to mention a lifetime ban pretty much kills any chances of them joining a reputable Dota 2 team or getting picked up by well-paying sponsors.
I’m not suggesting that Valve vary the level of punishment either. The way that the United States’ legal system handles corporate-fraud isn’t the best way to go around things. Not when the Esports industry is still in its infancy and couldn’t dare to deal with the kind of controversy it’ll eventually cause. Instead, cutting the punishment down to around 4-5 years seem like a better idea.
After all, with the Dota Pro Circuit likely here to stay, any Dota 2 player who knows what’s good for them will not risk a chance to cash in for a big payday just for a couple of extra bucks to fix matches.
There’s no indication right now that Valve is willing to renegotiate. Until then, we can only wait and hope that the day comes that Valve decides to revisit their policy on lifetime Dota 2 bans for match-fixing.
What’s your stance on Valve’s lifetime Dota 2 bans? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.