Valve Employee Apologizes For Banning Dota 2 Player

Valve Employee Apologizes For Banning Dota 2 Player

A Valve employee accused of abusing his employee privileges apologized for manually banning a Dota 2 player over a gameplay disagreement. Valve recently issued a policy against using manual bans since it’s difficult to analyze players and be objective.

Sean Vanaman, the co-creator of Firewatch, an adventure game developed by Campo Santo, transitioned to Valve when his previous company was acquired in June 2018. Vanaman isn’t one of the current developers of Dota 2, but he has admin privileges in the game. And he incorrectly used one of them during a match with player Minijuanjohndoe as his teammate.

After the match, player Minijuanjohndoe was then sent to the game’s low priority queue. This is a punishment system for players who abandon games or receive multiple player reports.

Minijuanjohndoe argued his case on Reddit. He provided pieces of evidence to prove his consistent high behavior score and detail what happened. According to him, his only crime was telling the team to go to the mid-tower. Vanaman thought it was a bad idea and exchanged some heated conversations with him before ultimately issuing a ban.

“When we were pickering with each other about mid. He got tired of fighting with me and told me do you know who you’re talking to? Check my profile I’m a steam employee,” Minijuanjohndoe detailed in the comments.

Many players sided with Minijuanjohndoe in the comments. The Reddit post received 700+ responses and caught Valve’s attention. Valve reversed the ban. And just hours later, Vanaman issued an apology:

“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.”

Vanaman also added that because of what happened, manual bans by employees like him in certain situations won’t be allowed anymore altogether. It would be part of the company’s informal policy.