It’s been three weeks since Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs (aka Ceb) put himself in the center of Dota 2’s ongoing issues with racism and toxicity. In case you missed it (or have forgotten), the OG player lost his temper in-game and aimed some slurs at other players in the match. In the discourse that ensued on reddit and within the Dota 2 community, Alexei “Solo” Berezin of Virtus.pro became involved, voicing his displeasure with Ceb’s initial apology and demanding action be taken lest he boycott the EPICENTER Major.
Since then, Solo has indicated that he and Virtus.pro have been working behind the scenes with OG, Ceb and Valve. Specifically, he wrote, “I think in the end we were able to find common vision on the case. We have agreed that our teams will work together to develop a solution to tackle same problems in the future and we’ll sit down at TI with Valve and other players to discuss the implementation. We share similar approach on this, so I’m optimistic about the result.” Solo seems to have been satisfied by Valve’s participation in the conversation and will attend EPICENTER, calling on Russian fans to be hospitable with regards to OG, but not to “forget who is your home team.”
First, they firmly condemned the behavior in question, writing “in no condition, high pressure, competition, public game or anything else, shall violence or discrimination be tolerated at OG.”
Ceb was fined “the equivalent of his monthly salary.” He will also donate any money earned at the EPICENTER Major to a charity of his choice, which will be made public at some point in the future.
OG also reiterated what Solo had said regarding their work with Valve: “Setting an example is important, but we believe that we should take the opportunity to try and evolve as a community. Therefore, we are actively working with Virtus Pro on proposing something to better our environment.”
There’s been no hint at what type of solution the group has in mind. While it might seem a little late for the professionals to consider the overall state of the larger Dota 2 community, certainly better late than never. This incident has underlined the need for the professional community to step up and model a more acceptable standard of behavior. Clearly, there’s already an expectation that pro players will not sink to the toxic depths that Dota 2 can have. Is it too much to hope that these organizations can find a way to rehabilitate and elevate our community to a more positive place?
As a show of togetherness, OG and Virtus.pro are coordinating to run a show match between the two teams at EPICENTER. Given that they will appear in different groups during the group stage, it’s entirely possible there’ll be no other way to see the two teams play each other at the final Dota 2 Pro Circuit event of the year.