The bumble bEE's DPC Slot Controversy Explained
Yet another team competing in the North American (NA) Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) has found itself entangled in a controversy over ownership of its slot on Valve's Registration website. A Division 2 team of the NA DPC, bumble bEE's, had well-known players such as Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao and David "Moo" Hull taking part in The International 10's regional qualifier. However, all five players of bumble bEE's apparently either found new teams or stopped playing, leaving the roster devoid of any members.
Maxwell Bateman, the manager of this team, owned the slot, so he allowed a team, that included him and some Ancient-tier players on it, to fill it. A backlash ensued as members of the Dota 2 community felt that it was unfair to give free passes to these relatively low-ranking players when higher ranking players were battling it out in the open qualifiers. It also led to questions being raised with regards to the DPC's structure as to how such a situation of this sort was allowed to occur in the first place.
All that you need to know about bumble bEE's DPC slot controversy
In the case of bumble bEE's, the controversy began on 20th Nov 2021 when Twitter user Francis Arriola pointed out that the new roster of bumble bEE's, believed to be an Ancient stack, was listed on Valve's Majors registration page. This resulted in a community outburst with many opinionating that these players did not deserve this slot. It was mentioned that teams and players with much higher rankings battled it out in the open qualifiers for the DPC spots, while this new iteration of bumble bEE's simply purchased it.
A member of the team, Freja 'Papaya' Holmstrom, a Dota 2 streamer, reacted to the controversy by taking to Twitter on 22nd Nov 2021. Although she admitted to being a member of the team, she denied they bought the slot. “no, my team did not buy the slot. why? because the current slot system is broken and i love my girls. no, we do not represent all women in dota, only ourselves. yes, we plan on taking this seriously AND have fun,” Papaya wrote.
Several hours later, Papaya made another tweet, writing, "Just 10% of what I have woken up to today," with a screenshot of abusive messages.
The frustration of the community, over the easy pass that these players were given in the DPC, brought to light the slot ownership rule in the DPC. As per Valve rules, each team competing in the DPC has one individual owning its slot on Valve's Registration Page. This individual has the right to invite and remove players from the team's roster at their discretion.
Maxwell Bateman, the manager of bumble bEE's, therefore added four other players to the team and decided to compete with them in the DPC.
Bateman was fired for sexual assault allegations in 2017
It turns out that there were some additional aspects to the story that were revealed later on. Bateman was previously a manager for a team in the Overwatch League, but he was fired in 2017 after sexual assault allegations.
As word of this spread, Bateman tweeted that he was originally charged in 2017 but all charges had now been dropped. However, in order to ensure the team would not be negatively affected by his past, he had stepped down from the team.
DOTA Valkyries, an organization dedicated to supporting women in Dota 2, tweeted on 24th Nov 2021 that it had been in contact with a member of bumble bEE's. The tweet mentioned that when the women decided to play with Bateman, they were not aware of the sexual assault allegations against him. However, once the women learned about it, they confronted him, and he stepped down from the team.
Furthermore, DOTA Valkyries mentioned that while there had been respectful and legitimate criticisms made regarding how this slot was handled, there had also been unjustifiable hate and harassment directed towards the women of bumble bEE's. Additionally, this issue has also sparked an important debate around the ownership rule of the DPC.
Since someone has left the roster after the roster lock, bumble bEEs are no longer eligible to use their slot in the Division 2 of the NA DPC and hence will not be competing in it. With regards to the issue, there has been no official announcement from ESL, the organization of the DPC 2021-22 in NA.