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Top 5 controversies in the history of Dota 2 esports

The Shanghai Major in 2016 is one of the most infamous tournaments in esports history (Image via Valve)
The Shanghai Major in 2016 is one of the most infamous tournaments in esports history (Image via Valve)

Dota 2 has had its fair share of controversy during the title's 11-year history. From game-breaking bugs to career-ending scandals, fans have seen it all.

No esport is free from controversy, and Dota 2 has had some of the most scandalous controversies in esports history. These disputes are usually a big blow to the Dota 2 esports scene, but the community has remained strong throughout them.

This list looks at some of the biggest controversies to hit Dota 2.

Disclaimer: This list solely reflects the author's opinions.


Five most heated controversies in Dota 2 history

Some honorable mentions go to Alexei "Solo" Berezin, Yi "ddz" Kok, Hsien "Lance" Fua, and Team Newbee's match-fixing scandals. Valve has banned all players involved in match-fixing except for Solo.

5) OG-Alliance coaching scandal

The OG-Alliance coaching scandal is one of the biggest controversies to hit Dota 2 in a long time. It is ongoing and more individuals have become involved.

On May 11th, a Reddit user pointed out that Alliance used coach Peter "PPD" Dager live during the games. It is common knowledge that coaches are not allowed to communicate with the team once the game begins. This prompted a fiery response from OG's Johan "Notail" Sundstein, who called Alliance cheaters.

OG's off-laner, Sebastien "Ceb" Debs, also weighed in on the event. However, Alliance revealed that the ESL had changed the rules for the DPC League. The e-mail mentioning the change had gone unnoticed by most teams. As a result, OG received a lot of fan backlash due to their comments on Alliance.

A poor run of form followed for OG, who got knocked out of contention for the WePlay Dota 2 AniMajor as a result. This even prompted a meme tweet from Team Secret's Twitter handle.

Also read: Top 5 baits to confuse enemies in Dota 2

Team Secret's social media manager is a YouTuber by the name of midormeepo. His tweet calling OG ''Trash'' prompted another inflammatory tweet from Ceb. The duo had a back and forth on Twitter, with the community mostly backing midormeepo.

As the situation stands, most people involved have seemingly calmed down. However, one targeted tweet is all it will take to reignite the controversy.


4) The fountain hook

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At The International 3 Upper Bracket Round 2, Navi was up against TongFu. Game 3 of the series became one of the most iconic in Dota 2 history.

Navi won the first game of the series, while TongFu won the second. In the third and deciding game, Clement "Puppey" Ivanov and Danil "Dendi" Ishutin picked their signature heroes, Chen and Pudge, respectively.

Using the interaction between Chen's Test of Faith and Pudge's Meat Hook, Dendi hooked enemies straight to his fountain. The hooks guaranteed death for TongFu's players and won Navi the series.

The fallout from the game was highly controversial. The mechanic was well known, but no team had ever used it. Navi was criticized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Alliance's Jonathan "Loda" Berg famously created a meme by asking, "Is that balanced?" which is still used by the Dota 2 community.


3) 2016 Shanghai Major

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In March 2016, Valve hosted The Shanghai Major. The event, produced by Perfect World, went down as the worst Dota 2 tournament in history.

It was plagued with production issues. The official streams were nearly unwatchable, and the quality was extremely subpar. Talent rooms had minimal furniture, player booths were not soundproof, and equipment was stolen from players multiple times throughout the event.

But the event's most prominent controversy came from Valve themselves. Halfway through the tournament, the company fired Perfect World and replaced them with PGL, who somehow salvaged the event and made it watchable.

However, Valve later announced that they had also fired James "2GD" Harding, the event's desk host. In a statement by Gabe Newell, Valve's co-founder and president, he called 2GD an "a**" and said that Valve would never work with him again.

2GD's firing caused some community backlash as fans liked his edgy style of hosting. However, he has remained blacklisted from Dota 2 events to this day.


2) Fly and S4 leave OG

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Tal "Fly" Aizik and Notail were as close as brothers. They had played together for years before Dota 2 was even released. In Dota 2, the two friends created their own team, OG, based on friendship and trust. They stuck together through thick and thin.

So when Fly announced that he was leaving OG to join Evil Geniuses just before The International 8, it sent shockwaves through the Dota 2 world. Fly took Gustav "S4" Magnusson, OG's off-laner, with him, leaving OG with just three active players a couple of months before TI. The betrayal shook Notail to the core, as he has said multiple times.

OG signed pub-star Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen and brought back former player Anathan "Ana" Pham. The team miraculously won the TI8, defeating Fly's Evil Geniuses in the upper brackets.

Notail gave Fly a fiery look after the game while shaking hands, which became a popular meme. OG used the picture of Notail against EG at TI9, placing banners in front of Fly's hero whenever they could. They went on to win TI9 as well.


1) Team Secret's early days

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Team Secret was Dota 2's first super team, and Puppey created the team in 2014. Although the side is one of the best in the world now, their journey has been rocky.

Team Secret had several public roster disputes. Artour "Arteezy" Babaev infamously joined and left the team twice within a year, while Fly and Notail were also controversially removed from the side. Aliwi "w33" Omar and Rasmus "Misery" Filipsen also had controversial exits.

But that was not all. Evany Chang, Team Secret's former manager, accused the team of not making payments to players and staff. Jacky "EternalEnvy" Mao and Misery also made similar accusations, claiming Puppey and Secret's director, Kemal Sadikoglu, had removed 10% of all player earnings without consent.

TS soon removed Sadikoglu from the organization. Puppey apologized to all the players who made allegations against them and confirmed that Team Secret had met all obligations made to them.

Although it took a long time to rehabilitate its image, the org has managed to stay out of controversy ever since.

Also read: Dota 2 7.29c: How to play Hoodwink as a broken support

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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