The Dota 2 Kiev Major ends with a bizarre montage of female fans, leading esports broadcaster PGL to apologise for its decision to air the featurette. The video was heavily criticized by fans and professional Dota 2 players who called it ‘creepy’ and ‘weird.’
The video has also been cited as a key example as why so many women are reluctant to get into esports as either a fan or as a professional player.
Dota 2 Kiev Major: Weird Female Fan Video Causes Controversy
PGL, which organised the Dota 2 Kiev Major tournament, uploaded a ‘girl of the Kiev Major’ video to YouTube following the event’s conclusion. Offered without a description, the video is made up of footage of female fans who attended the event in person, seemingly all taken without their permission.
The term ‘creep shots’ is often used to describe unauthorised photos or videos taken of women, particularly when they’re naked or upskirts. While the footage here isn’t so NSFW, and strangely includes footage of one Dota 2 fan eating French fries, viewers are still using the term here as the video is just so wildly inappropriate.
And it’s not just fans who have voiced their anger at PGL for posting the video, which the broadcaster deleted as backlash began to grow (the video above is a reupload by a fan). Philip Aram, the manager of Dota 2 team Evil Geniuses, called the video a “perv super cut” while LeafyPeachy, the creator of inclusive Dota 2 group Desoladies also posted a full length takedown of the video saying that the footage ‘objectified’ the women featured.
On reddit, PGL issued an apology for the video:
As producer and showrunner, I want to apologize on behalf of PGL for airing the clip that closed the broadcast of the Kiev Major. A lot of people were disappointed and the high expectations set for us were not met. We let you down, and the clip does not reflect PGL’s values, team diversity or broadcast philosophy.
We have the utmost respect for the Dota 2 community and, going forward, the video production workflow will be improved with additional checks and quality filters to ensure that mistakes like this will not happen again. Everything we do is for the community and your feedback is and always will be very important to us.
Thank you for helping us do better next time.
Many are glad that PGL has actually apologised for its actions and continue to encourage the organiser – and others in esports – to do better. Videos that celebrate the diversity of a fanbase are welcomed and a shoutout to female fans would not have been “misplaced” argues one fan in response to the apology but the actual video that PGL presented seemed to ‘pander’ to the male gaze instead. It must do better next time if female Dota 2 fans are to feel included and respected.