Accusations of racism shroud success of Infamous at TI9

By Marta Juras


Aug 28, 2019

Reading time: 2 min

Controversies surrounding racist behavior are unfortunately nothing new to the Dota 2 community, especially when different regions meet every year at The International. TI9 hasn’t been different, and the eyes have most recently turned towards Hector Antonio “K1” Rodriguez.

Infamous’ Peruvian player K1 often turns to rage in his public Dota 2 games, and that rage sometimes results in racial and other inappropriate slurs towards teammates and opponents alike. A recent Reddit post pointed out quite a few in-game chat excerpts to raise awareness of K1’s common use of derogatory words.

K1 did not hesitate to call other players “retards,” “dogshits”, and worse language related to other players’ potential ethnicity or sexual orientation. There seems to be a pattern where he first accuses them of using artificial assistance, most likely because they managed to win against him, and the harassment escalates further from there.

The accusations follow the end of Infamous’ TI9 run seventh place after losing 0-2 to Team Secret in the third round of the main events’ lower bracket. Infamous is taking a bit less than $500,000 home from Shanghai. The run was considered a bright spot for South American Dota, which K1’s behavior has unfortunately overtaken in the eyes of some fans.

Racism in Dota 2

This kind of negativity seems to be widespread in the Dota 2 community. One fan took the time to scan Dota’s chat library for offensive words written by pro players in-game. The resulting transcript shows many players participating in such behaviors, including OG’s Anathan “ana” Pham, who used racial slurs for Indians, Chinese, and African-American ethnicities. OG’s Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen wished Russian players to die with cancer, while teammate Sébastien “Ceb” Debs called others “mongoloids”.

The regional separation has been very obvious at this years’ International. With the western Dota 2 community accusing the Chinese audience of being disrespectful, to the Chinese fans following TNC Predators’ players to their rooms and harassing them. This was due to the controversy regarding TNC’s players being racist towards the Chinese at TI8.

Competitive communities should have no tolerance for such behavior, but it doesn’t seem that Dota 2 developer Valve has given much thought to it to date. The situation may continue to worsen until follows the lead of other more proactive developers in reigning in such extreme behaviors from top players in the game’s community.