The community wants Valve to step up. The hands-off approach simply doesn’t work in 2021.
Toxicity is a sad reality in every game. But in Dota 2, the targeted abuse against women has become too much to bear. DOTA Valkyries, an organization formed to support women in the Dota 2 pro scene, yesterday (August 6th) posted a clear call-to-action on their social media.
In the post, DOTA Valkyries called out Dota 2 developer Valve Software directly. They stated that unless the company takes action, “...they will continue to reduce the amount of women that feel safe playing Dota 2.” The post came in response to a damning screenshot by Reinessa, a host and interviewer within the scene.
Reinessa’s post transcribes just some of the abuse she faced after turning off her voice modification. Pelted with a barrage of sexist and ableist comments, Reinessa took to Twitter to share her experience.
In recent months, it’s become more commonplace for women and other marginalized groups to share their experiences with toxicity in Dota 2. Just a week ago, Reinessa posted another series of screenshots of chat logs from her recent games. The logs included numerous slurs and expletives posted by Dota 2 players in-game. And on the game’s subreddit, r/Dota2, one of the current top posts shows a tirade of bigotry against a player in text chat.
Community Support for Women in Dota
Following her post, numerous members of the Dota 2 community reached out in support of Reinessa. Some echoed DOTA Valkyries call for Valve to step in to address the situation. But the overall tone of the replies was that this was all too common in Dota 2. As a result, a consensus stating that Dota 2 is a toxic game and nothing will change that, has formed.
On September 18th, DOTA Valkyries will host the Valkyrie Cup. A collaboration with Women In Esports, an initiative to promote inclusivity and diversity in esports, the event is a community tournament that will require each team to have a minimum of two women in their roster to participate. You can register for the event here.