- Kuku tweets that he is on his way to Shanghai, China
- Valve hasn’t confirmed whether the player will play
- The International 2019 starts on August 15
TNC Predator’s Kuku is on his way to Shanghai for the TI9, Dota 2’s largest tournament with a prize pool of over $32.5 million. Is he there to watch or play?
TNC Predator’s Kuku on His Way to Shanghai
TNC Predator’s controversial player Carlo “Kuku” Palad will be heading to The International 2019 (TI9) in Shanghai, China, the player hinted at social media. Kuku attracted negative attention after he stirred up a controversy and pitted Chinese and Filipino communities against each other over ill-considered and unnecessary racial slurs directed at fellow players.
As a result, Chongqing authorities, the city hosting one of the Major events, issued a statement in which they said that they couldn’t guarantee Kuku’s safety, which riled the Dota 2 community. Despite the firm language used by Chongqing authorities, the city was right to take measures, especially given the circumstances.
While Kuku tried to deny the incident – which involved him writing “ching chong” in a league game to mock his Chinese opponents – it later transpired that TNC Predator’s manager, Paulo Sy, had tried to cover up the transgression, which completely destroyed their credibility.
Although there has been no official response from Valve or Shanghai authorities for that matter, whether Kuku will actually play, it’s unlikely that he is there to just watch the event.
Valve Needs to Learn Negotiatin Tactics
Valve could have done a better job at handling the original incident, but the company proved ineffective in negotiating a solution. The controversy haunted Kuku during The World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) which were against hosted in Chongqing.
While Valve said that Kuku wasn’t banned from attending, the city’s authorities published an official statement in which they said that Kuku would not be allowed to enter the city. WESG hosts tried to contain the situation by placing inquiries with the Chongqing’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Public Security, confirming that Kuku had been banned.
Kuku’s return to the TI9, even though not completely certain at the time of reporting, will certainly signify a much better chance for TNC Predator at securing a more important place in the overall standing.
Power Ranking at a Glance
TNC Predator is one of the teams that has the potential to upset the competition and overcome the majority of teams. Presently, the teams that seem to have the best chances of securing TI9 and with it the lion’s share of the price include Team Secret, Vici Gaming, Team Liquid, Virtus Pro, and Evil Geniuses.
Predator will also face a lot of Chinese competition on home turf, which could potentially make it more difficult for the team to break through to the later stages of the event. Hopes are that if Kuku is allowed to play, he will hold himself with more grace.