Neslyn A. January 23, 2020
During the DreamLeague Leipzig Major, three professional Dota 2 players were hit with Valve’s mighty ban hammer.
Fnatic coach Lee "SunBhie" Jeong-jae posted a video on Twitter mocking Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon for being struck with an 18-year ban. A similar case happened earlier that day with TNC Predator players Timothy John "Tims" Randrup and Kim "Gabbi" Villafuerte.
The players themselves did not address the bans in any clear way, but SunBhie’s initial tweet teased that 23savage’s ban was for toxicity. Naturally, Dota 2 fans and personalities found a great deal of humor in the bans, but Valve was quick to fix their accounts for reasons that remain somewhat mysterious.
DreamLeague Leipzig Major bans lifted for no clear reason
Late last year, the Dota 2 community celebrated when Valve began permanently banning players en masse for in-game toxicity, smurfing, account trading, and other bad behavior. Though the bans state that they will last until January 2038, the bans are actually permanent and appear as 18-year bans due to a computer error similar to the Y2K bug.
Well-behaved players reveled in seeing people take to social media to complain about their bans, which even impacted some Dota 2 professionals such as Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao.
However, the system is not perfect which has seen a number of players banned despite playing on their original accounts at a reasonable MMR, and boasting high behavior scores. It’s easy to reverse these bans as long as players have consistently high behavior ratings, have not been flagged by VAC, and have not exploited the game in any form.
So were 23savage, Tims, and Gabbi banned due to a faulty algorithm? Or did they have it coming and Valve is showing them preferential treatment? Unfortunately, the world will never know.
Regardless, Tims and Gabbi are continuing on in the DreamLeague Leipzig Major following TNC’s victory over 23savage and Fnatic. They will next face Team Liquid in a lower bracket best-of-three.