A Valve employee apologized for taking disciplinary action against a fellow player in a Dota 2 match he was in, following a dispute over tactics. Dot Esports reports that a Dota 2 player by the name of minijuanjohndoe complained that he was sent to the low priority queue “for telling the team to let mid tower go and he just thinks it’s a bad idea.”
“He” in this case refers to Sean Vanaman, co-creator of Firewatch, whose developer Campo Santo was acquired by Valve in 2018. To his credit, Vanaman responded to minijuanjohndoe on Reddit, admitting to his mistake and saying that “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.” That was an informal policy, Vanaman said, but taking such action “won’t be allowed anymore altogether.”
The punishment, a low-priority queue, is levied upon disruptive players “that have engaged in behaviors that are detrimental to the community,” according to the Dota 2 support page. Players with this penalty are restricted to Single Draft game mode until they win a certain number of games.
It should also be noted that this isn’t Vanaman’s first brush with controversy. In 2017, while working for Campo Santo independently, he filed DMCA takedown notices for Firewatch videos posted by prominent content creator PewDiePie, who had recently used racial slurs in his videos — though not the ones containing Firewatch content. It’s enough to make you wonder if Vanaman should still have the power to moderate other people’s speech on any platform — or at least should seek advice before making snap decisions.