The Eastern EU region of the Dota 2 Pro Esports scene has had a rough string of events. It experienced temporary cancellation due to the military conflict between Ukraine and Russia. This conflict created a deep divide between personalities in that region of competitive play.
However, the region has not weathered the storm yet. This is also after the fact that the region was brought back to bring EEU competitors to The Internationals 11. This time the controversy came from within the esports scene itself, not from outside sources.
The professional player Kamil “Koma`” Biktimirov, and 9 other players from the EEU DPC, were penalized with competitive bans. Furthermore, these bans made them unable to participate in Valve events permanently as posted by the PGL on December 18, 2022.
The reason for these bans was account sharing and impersonating other players in tournament matches. Historically, Valve has only ever lifted a competitive ban on three occasions that affected four players. These players had 6-month bans each, back in 2021 in April and May.
Dota 2 Pro Admits to Account Sharing
Koma` has since admitted on his VK account regarding this. The Dota 2 pro said he was persuaded by others to delve into impersonation for the sake of tournament winnings. He also admitted to hiding this act when he tried out for Virtus.pro’s Dota 2 team.
Even more, he urges all younger players to think through their actions, especially if those actions could risk their future careers. Whether Valve considers reducing his ban and those of the other players is unknown.
Pro players Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk, and Artem “Yuragi” Golubiev of teams Spirit and OG, respectively, defended him on two platforms. Yatoro said on a Telegram post that Koma` doesn’t deserve the ban and that the other nine players do.
Pros Defend Friends?
As for Yuragi, he went to Twitter to express that Koma` would never deceive and is not a cruel person. Even more, Yuragi said that he loves that game. This sentiment was present in Yatoro’s message, as well as both players saying that Koma` was a friend of theirs. It was also something the Dota community was quick to point out.
When professional integrity is at stake, and with the current situation in Eastern Europe, the feedback on Yuragi’s tweet was very expressive on what he chose to prioritize—friend over the country.
Of course, this criticism is possible because Koma` is Russian and Yuragi and Yatoro are Ukrainian. However, Twitter users used harsh language when reacting to this. They saw Yuragi and Yatoro forgiving Koma` because of their friendship.
A fair argument against their defense was that if Valve were to lift Koma`’s ban it would set a wrong example for the community, even to say that this will only embolden pro players to make terrible decisions.
So far, Valve has yet to address this situation, and it may stay that way for the long term. Everyone knows Valve to be hands-off in most dealings with the competitive scene, even letting PGL communicate the news on the bans
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