Alexei “Solo” Berezin, a Dota 2 player from Virtus Pro, has threatened to boycott next month’s Epicenter Major unless Valve condemns comments made by fellow pro Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs, who referred to Russian opponents as “fucking animals” in a recent match.
Debs, also known as Ceb, was part of the team OG side that won The International 2018. In a recent match, Debs called a Russian opponent a “third-world dog”, and said the other team were “Russian whores” that would “sell their mother for MMR”—you can see screenshots of the in-game chat here.
In a later post on the Dota 2 subreddit, he said he wasn’t “generalizing” Russian people, but rather pointing out that two “toxic” opponents who were deliberately trying to ruin the game were both Russian. “Both being Russians, I just named it,” he said. However, he admitted that he had set a “very poor example”, and he apologized for his choice of words.
Virtus Pro’s Berezin, who is Russian, shared his thoughts on the incident on Friday, calling on Valve to ensure “consistency and transparency when it comes to treating racism in our game”.
“I won’t be participating at the upcoming Epicenter Major that will be played in my home country unless Valve openly speaks about this case and ensures consistency and transparency when it comes to treating racism in our game,” he said.
“I am proud to be Russian and your words leave me speechless. You’re not some young player who can do careless stuff because he might not understand the consequences. You’ve been in this game since the very start, you’ve earned a lot of respect and it makes the situation even worse.”
If Valve did take action, it wouldn’t be entirely unprecedented: it banned Carlo “Kuku” Palad from January’s Chonqing Major for using racist insults against Chinese teams.