Pro players get privileged treatment in Dota 2, and at least one of them is really taking advantage of it.
An unflattering video has popped up on social media featuring Team Nigma off laner Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov. A teammate during a pub game clipped footage of MinD_ContRoL seemingly griefing his team in a ranked match.
Playing as Lifestealer, he purchases five Fluffy Hats and can be seen in the fountain buying wards and planting them in his own base. From there, he can be seen dying repeatedly in lane alongside his lane partner, Disruptor. Neither player says anything, but the teammates can be heard griping about it.
The Reddit poster who produced the clip, ScyDota, states that this isn’t the only incident of MinD_ContRoL acting like this.
“This is 4th game Mind Control is ruining my games for absolutely no reason…I am starting to think he’s just getting drunk and ruining games for fun because he can never get low priority,” ScyDota said.
MinD_ContRoL has an unfortunate history of bad behavior in Dota 2 pub matches. The most high-profile example came in 2018 when he drummed up controversy by asking “why didn’t Hitler kill Russians? Would be so nice for the world.”
Team Liquid, who was sponsoring him at the time, forced him to donate an undisclosed amount of money to an undisclosed charity. MinD_ContRoL apologized in a post on Twitter.
Our statement on today’s MC comments pic.twitter.com/KHhg51nn66
— Victor Goossens (@LiquidNazgul) June 24, 2018
While other games have various punishment mechanisms for toxic behavior in games, Dota 2 essentially gives pro players the ability to act freely and without consequence. This stems from a stretch of time in which Dota 2’s report system was abused by regular players against pros. Despite not saying or doing anything offensive, casual players would report pro players in their games as a way of trolling or harassing them.
Rather than refining the report system or taking a proactive approach to policing the behavior of those pros who represent the game to the masses, Valve instead opted to allow players with verified accounts to do whatever they’d like, with very few exceptions. This has led to regular instances of toxic behavior by Dota 2 pros ranging from throwing games to racist chat in-game.