Valve employee sends Dota 2 player to low priority for disagreement in game; apologizes later

Have you ever been sent to low priority match making after a game of Dota 2 in which there were no arguments and for the most part, things seemed to be fine? If yes, the events of the past few days may be the answer why. A Dota 2 player, who goes by the name of ‘minijuanjohndoe’ on Reddit, was sent to low priotity by a Valve employe, Vanaman, for suggesting that their team let the mid tower go, when Vanaman thought it wasn’t a good idea. That is it – just a suggestion in a game of Dota 2.

The player made a post on r/Dota2, which was hidden by the moderators. After he provided evidence, the post was unhidden, garnered traction and got enough attention on social media for Valve to take some action against it.

In one of the edits made to the post, the player provided a behavior score, which was 10000, to make the point that he wasn’t at all one to get reported often and did not fall in the so called ‘toxic’ category of players. He also put up the match ID and mentioned that Vanaman had tried to be condescending by mentioning he was a Steam employee.
Luckily for minijuanjohndoe, all the edits and evidence provided made the community and Valve believe that he wasn’t in the wrong and that the Valve employee had abused his power for personal and petty reasons. Vanaman took to Reddit to apologise about his behavior and also apologised to the player who he had wronged.

The team looked into this case, and concluded the user clearly did not deserve the ban. Even if the user did deserve a ban however, we all think it’s clear that manually banning users is not a good idea because of how hard it is to be objective in Dota games that you are in. My mistake in this case being a sterling example. As employees, we should have no special privilege when playing Dota.
That has been the team’s informal policy in the past, but it has clearly failed in this case. It won’t remain informal going forward — manual bans like this won’t be allowed anymore altogether. And sincere apologies to user u/minijuanjohndoe.

The new Valve policy of preventing manual banning of players is a step in the right direction to ensure such an abuse of power does not occur again. However, the question does arise, for how long and how frequenty did Valve employees implement such unethical bans if this hadn’t gained the public support, how long would they have gotten away with it? Eventually, the truth does get revelead and this incident goes to show the imporatance of fighting against injustice, however small it may be.

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