The entire Dota 2 roster of Team Random has been issued a vicious ban that refrains the players from competing in any esports event in the country of China.
Formerly of Wings Gaming, the squad stamped its name in the record books by securing The International last year and taking home one of the biggest prize pools ever raised in the history of competitive video games. However, the careers of the reigning Dota 2 champions have jeopardized because the players can no longer compete in their own home country.
The players reportedly had ongoing contract disputes with the management of Wings Gaming when they parted ways last month. Members of Team Random have confirmed that they were owed outstanding salaries, while also were awaiting to pay a percentage of their winnings from The International.
On May 13, shortly after the players left the team, Wings Gaming CEO Xie Zhouyu sent a letter to the Association of Chinese Esports (ACE) that urged the organization to take swift action against the roster for not adhering to their contracts.
The players were aware of the letter, with Zhang “faith_bian” Ruida and Zhang “y`” Yiping trying to escape legal proceedings by contacting Zhouyu the next day to settle any contractual obligations by transferring their contracts to EHOME. However, the wish was not entertained.
ACE responded to the letter by barring all five players from ever competing professionally in any domestic tournament in China. According to Chu “Shadow” Zeyu, the actions of faith_bian and y` threw them all “under the bus.”
The ban stands, despite pleas from Team Random. However, it does not prohibit the players from competing outside of China in Valve-sponsored events such as the Majors and the annual iterations of The International.
There is a dark cloud looming over the Dota 2 community as it seems unlikely that Team Random will be defending its crowd at this year’s championship.