Female Dota 2 team banned for being too skilled

6 min read


So you’ve got a completely kitted all-girl Dota 2 team, and you have hopes of winning the big tournament that is exclusive to the gender. You know your players are good, but how good? Good enough to be seen as a “male” gamer? Careful now, apparently there’s a noticeable skill difference which could cause trouble. Don’t believe me? An admin recently banned an entire team from an all-female tournament because one of their players was too skilled to be female.

What is this, 1492? For starters, I really don’t know why there is an exclusively female contest in the first place. Males are biologically stronger, which is why there are gender specific events in athletics for example. Dota 2 on the other hand is more about team play, general decision making, and good communication. I guarantee you that my male hands and fingers don’t give me any kind of advantage, at least not that I know of.

The administrator of this particular tournament (Girls Wars SEA) must have had some super powers to tell the difference though (via Player Attack)

An administrator, claiming to know the difference between “girl and boy game style”, has commented on the team’s midlaner, stating that a girl “can’t play like that”. It’s not clear if event organisers are accusing team Dolls of bringing a boy onto the team, or if the girl in question is simply too good.

While I would MAYBE give the administrator the benefit of the doubt (perhaps he really is some professional when it comes to telling the difference between male and female gaming styles, which may be plausible), the following image eliminates any hope I had for him. The captain of the banned team, Team Dolls, posted the screenshot to her Facebook (apologies for the poor quality):

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It’s just complete ignorance from the admin. He claims that girls simply “can’t play like that”. There was no real conclusive proof, or an investigation for that matter. The captain goes on to express her disgust at the whole saga:

So you’re hosting tournaments for girls to show what they’re capable of, but you disqualify them when they’ve exceeded your expectations and encroach into what you think is the exclusively male territory of skill?

So what are girls joining this tournament for? To perform as poorly as possible to reinforce the stereotype that all girls suck at gaming, so YOU can feel safe in your already male-dominated community?

The organisers of the tournament have recently given comment as to why Team Dolls were banned. It’s rather lengthy, but here’s a portion of it:

Going into the matter, Dolls Team was disqualified because we suspected that they used a male player, or the so called “pilot”, during their match against Team DDR. Here are the reasons regarding the decision for disqualification:

  • While monitoring the game, we carefully observe for the consistency of gameplay of the player by also checking her other gamelogs. We saw that there was a tremendous change on how the hero was played during early compared to mid game. This though was not enough reason for us to disqualify the team. ( http://prntscr.com/4tsz8j)
  • The team already violated a rule even before the tournament has started – Under III. Registration-Check In: Check IN via – Skype or raidcall.Their team wasn’t able to present any Skype accounts, especially the captain. They rather insisted on using in-game voice chat. As much as we wanted to go by the rules, and consider the team’s effort to be present on the tournament, we did allow them to participate. But we noted their violation and carefully observed their team.
  • Other than added justification that the team may be using a male player by violating Check-in rules, as the match proceeded, we carefully investigated that specific account. We then confirmed with the captain that there are quite a lot of cases where the girl actually had her boyfriend play on her account ( http://prntscr.com/4tsyzi) .

With all these , only then we have decided to finally disqualify the team without the single thought of offending any other female players, or as they say “SEXIST”.

Team Dolls are wrong for not following the official rules of the tournament no doubt. I still feel that the dismissal was unfair, especially if, as the captain claims, the offending teamie lets her boyfriend use her account. Personally, I would never share my account with anybody (yes, not even my imaginary girlfriend).

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There could have definitely been a much more involved investigation before dismissing the team entirely. I just think the whole thing was blown out of proportion because the admin simply stated that the player was too good to be a girl, raising sexist sirens everywhere.

What is your opinion on this whole debacle? Is the skill gap between male and female gamers really that noticeable? I just don’t get it.

(Header Source)

Last Updated: October 7, 2014

Matthew Figueira

Defence of the Ancients? More like Defence of the cabbages! Have you seen my head? I look like a Merino Sheep on pole. NO SHANGE only SHAPPIES! :D

  • Admiral Chief 0


    • I know, what is Martha doing with your hammer?!

      • JJ of Meridian

        Do you really want to know?

        • Admiral Chief 0

          I need to buy a tub-o-bleach

      • Admiral Chief 0

        Sacrilege! A PUNISHMENT I SAY!

        • Agreed. Who the hell does he thing he is?!

          • Admiral Chief 0

            Thing you say?

      • hairyknees

        HAMMER IS MINE! (at least, it was for this article :P)

  • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

    What is THIS NONSENSE? We don’t want more DotA news! We want BATMAN!

    In all seriousness. That honestly blows. I play with very many skilled men who WISH they could play as well as the women we play with. I honestly don’t know how there could be a divide between men and women in DotA.

    • Hammersteyn

      Michael Keaton FTW, although my favourite overall remains Kevin Conroy

      • JJ of Meridian

        That’s because Kevin Conroy IS Batman.

        • Hammersteyn

          Makes sense

        • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

          They said he INVENTED the two voices of Batman. One for the caped Crusader and one for the playboy billionaire. How did he know to do this? BECAUSE HE IS THE DARKEST OF DARK KNIGHTS! HE PLAYS DRUMS ON THE HEADS OF UNCONSCIOUS BALD EVILDOERS!

          Seriously though. Best Batman voice ever. Agreed. Although I’ll admit Bale didn’t do too badly. For a Cancer survivor.

          • JJ of Meridian

            Wait, not Bale from TDKR? I hated that character. Thought he was one of the poorest villain portrayals since Poison Ivy and Mr Freeze. But it could just be me.

      • Who could ever match such a great batman, seriously Arkham Knight better hurry up damnit (>_<)

        • Mark Treloar

          or not

  • Hammersteyn

    “Their team wasn’t able to present any Skype accounts, especially the captain” then they shouldn’t have been allowed to play in the first place.

    • Joe Soapie

      I’m more concerned about why they have to have Skype accounts in the first place. Not everyone uses Skype, or wants to use Skype so why would the organisers want to try enforce it? Are they sposed by MS or something? (I’m not being facetious, I’m genuinely curious.)

      • Matty

        It’s a tournament rule, to confirm all participants are female or something. AFAIK it’s not skype specifically, but you’re expected to use voicechat. They were the only team to refuse.

        The girl in suspicion had a history of letting her bf, a former dota pro player, play for her or something.

        • Joe Soapie

          Ooooh, okay.. I’d assumed that everyone just rocked up to one event and played; didn’t know people essentially played from their homes or wherever, the Skype thing makes more sense now. Thanks.

      • Hammersteyn

        Skype links to ones Facebook account so that’s the only reason I can think of.

        • AntoxaGray

          What if someone not using Facebook or dont put any photos here? They are not human then?

    • AntoxaGray

      Why Skype? Why not Discord?

  • Viking Of Divinity

    I can buy that male and female gamers MAY have different play styles, but not that male gamers are “better”

    any woman could trounce any man in any game, Skill is skill, regardless of gender.

    It can be seen in any form of skill based competition. just look at Sabine Schmitz, queen of the nurburgring.

    • JJ of Meridian

      If they based categories on my multiplayer gaming abilities I’m sure they’ll have to invent a whole new sub category for bad gamers.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Don’t they already do that in some online games? They group the cheaters, trolls & yellow Hummer drivers together?

        • JJ of Meridian

          Yes. See. No group there for me called the Bottom Feeders.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            haha – whenever you finish a mission in Warframe it gives stats on who had the most kills, did the most damage, etc – as long as I’m not last I’m happy.

          • JJ of Meridian

            Sounds like me on every MP game. I actually want to check out Warframe, but adding a F2P game to my backlog is just asking for trouble.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            It’s quite addictive it’s true. I love leveling up new frames.

          • JJ of Meridian

            No no.
            I have games to finish first.

          • Spaffy

            Fuck yea, if my name’s not at the bottom I did good 😀

  • Sageville

    I’m sorry, but I cannot tell the difference between sexes based on gameplay style.

    • I thought you were going to say “I’m sorry, but I cannot tell the difference between sexes based on anything” *RUNS 😉

      • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

        You run like a girl. Therefore, you are a girl. DONE. WE DID IT. WE GOT ONE RIGHT!

        • You may have got one right, but as a girl I have none!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            You could always get implants.

          • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

            Do it! Everything is better with implants (according to various leading plastic surgeons).

          • Spaffy

            And personal experience? 😛

          • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

            Shhhhhhh. Don’t tell them. They mustn’t know. 😛

      • Sageville

        Well, that only counts when you do that “Silence of the Lambs tucking option”.

        P.S. Please stop mailing me those pictures!

        • You joined the mailer, neva!

          • Sageville


      • Spaffy

        You meant ” I’m sorry, but I cannot tell the difference between sexes based on personal experience” ?

        • Well it’s always so dark!

          • Captain JJ Underleyened

            When you pretend to have sex? Trololololo!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            He’s only pretending someone else is there. *RUNNNNNNNNNN*

          • Sadly it’s usually the other person pretending I’m not there 🙁 #heartbroken

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            If it makes you feel better, they’re not pretending if they don’t know you’re there. #stalker

          • Captain JJ Underleyened


    • bluegoon

      Well, you see, this video game admin absolutely drowns in booty, the whole day, every day, constantly, he is so in touch with chicks that he can sense their play style even.

    • TrueWOPR

      You can tell it in RTS easily, but not so much MOBA.
      In RTS games they play more like Sim City, focusing more on the asthetics and appearance of their base, rather than the practicality. They tend to focus more on uniform numbers of soldiers, instead of managing a proper counter-army too.
      They also tend to favor Turtle over Rush and Boom.

  • frikkenator

    Well to be fair, the differences in play style occurred in the same game, early game the person played crap and then suddenly mid game they’re a beast, coincidentally being the player that admits her boyfriend plays on her account? Sounds a bit fishy indeed.

    Saying a girl can’t play that well is wrong, but someone changing so drastically during the course of one game indicates foul play.

    • Dutch Matrix

      Isn’t that what we would call a “come-back” in the world of sports? Kind of how Rocky got his ass handed to him by Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, only to come back and beat the crap out of ole Ivan????

      • frikkenator

        There’s a big difference between sucking because you’re behind/under-farmed/under levelled and a general lack of skill.

    • Kensei Seraph – Staff

      I’ve had drastic changes of play simply because my brother (who plays more often than me) walked up behind me and gave me some minor advice.

      • frikkenator

        True, but if you watch the player perspective you can see very quickly through camera movements and general play style how skilled someone is. That doesn’t change drastically enough just by someone giving you advice.

        Also, someone can give you all the advice in the world about positioning and timing but that’s not going to change drastically in one game.

    • Joe Soapie

      I have a friend who plays badly on purpose, then, halfway into the game, he ups the anti and plays properly; annihilating everything in his path. It’s insane. It doesn’t always work to help him win, but it always works in confusing his opponents, they think he sucks then all of a sudden .. boom, multi-kill, mega-kill, ultra-kill, Noah’s Flood.

  • Rags

    “While monitoring the game, we carefully observe for the consistency of gameplay of the player by also checking her other gamelogs. We saw that there was a tremendous change on how the hero was played during early compared to mid game. ”

    Is probably the most important part. I don’t know dota too well, but I can pick up the play style of many of the smurfs in Quake and know with a good degree of certainty who they are. Those who know the girl gamer should know if her style matches that of the match or not.

    • Admiral Chief 0

      Very valid point

    • Willem Swanepoel

      so true, I think the admin, should have used a different word. Saying he can see the difference between a girl and a boy playing the game was probably the wrong choice of words.

  • It’s pretty simple. It is often said that women are more compassionate (which is odd as not one of my exes were #foreverSP) and mature, so perhaps their infrequent use of the word prick, dick, motha-flucker, noob, was just too obvious and their ability to focus puts them at an advantage?

  • Galbedir

    Freakin Disgusting.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Just as well he never monitored me back when I played FPS at LANs. My play style changed all the time depending on circumstance.

    • Like whether you had your My Little Pony mascot?

      • Admiral Chief 0


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Whatever it takes to get in the zone man, don’t judge me!

        My friend said once it was like playing against an AI because of the way I adapted.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            No, like PROPER AI.

          • In familiar words ‘I expected MOAR!’

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I’m not surprised those words are familiar to you ;P

          • JJ of Meridian

            How are we supposed to know if your “alien” race is even biological? For all we know you could be some mechanical AI race.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            That’s speciest.

          • Admiral Chief 0

            I’m thinking…some sort of gelatinous blob…

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            ARE YOU CALLING ME FAT? :'(

          • Admiral Chief 0

            Ok ok ok, gelatinous shapely figure (GSF)

          • Admiral Chief 0

            I see what you corrected there!

          • Hammersteyn


  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    This raises a few points for me:

    1.) Why is there a female only tournament? I find that a bit sexist really. There is no difference between male and female performance in an e-sport.
    2.) If it is not a LAN event how do they know the real people on the rosters are actually playing? o.O
    3.) I can understand them banning them on the premise that they used someone not on their roster.

    • Agreed. When Gavin asked the MSSA about why there are two groups they quoted a study. When asked what study they were basing their ‘science’ they were remarkably elusive.

      • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

        I know of no *scientific* study which outlines the difference in electronic ability between men and women. However, I’m pretty sure there is some awesome Pseudoscience out there, citing (the almighty) surveys as their qualitative data source. Bollocks, I say! Take back your evil survey, you heathen monkey! We will no longer be part of your evil system!

        • TrueWOPR

          small muscle control… spacial reasoning… long term planning… objective thinking…

    • CAE9872

      3 = yeah good point

    • Jedi Consular Kromas

      1). Agree
      2.) Not hosting as lan event or an online event with specific venues will cause these issues and is just a stupid idea.
      3.)Still … how can they be certain which brings me back to point 2 and how stupid the idea is in the first place.

      • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

        I think it can be solved by webcams monitoring the player and someone at the event looking at what they are doing. It would take more bandwidth, but will solve this kind of problem?

        • Jedi Consular Kromas

          True but we already have online events where your team has to use a venue close by. That works and solves any bandwidth issues (specially in SA where video streaming will screw over gaming big time)

  • JJ of Meridian

    These kinds of things are usually based on such a thin line. Throw all the players together and they complain that there isn’t enough opportunity or that it doesn’t work. Split them and you get things like this.
    I don’t have an answer for this, just wanted to raise my opinion. 🙂

  • CAE9872

    It really is crazy that they don’t just accept “teams” no matter the gender. I am sure I get my assed whipped by both when I play FPS’. Heck I remember a woman taking me to pieces in a Forza 2 tournament online.

    Tis all a little bizarre!

  • Jedi Consular Kromas

    Sooo inversely if I suck at DotA does that make me a girl?

    • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

      Do you call people out, according to their playstyle? So when you lose, do you blame everyone in your team and refer to them as “noobs”, “[email protected]$%ers”, etc? If so, unfortunately you do not have bewbs. If you are considerate and a human being (and have bewbs) then you may just be a girl…

      If so. Congratulations. Now go play LoL. DotA is for men. 😛

      • Jedi Consular Kromas

        Damn … still I can’t complain then cause I like bewbs. Also i’ll hold
        off playing lol and rather focus my efforts on getting a rainbow farting
        unicorn for Diablo in HotS (not HotS but HotS:The other one)

    • Brady miaau


      • Captain JJ Underleyened

        Wow. I must truly then be a girl. I suppose that supports the eyeliner thing. 😛

  • konfab aka derp

    New topic for Masters degree:
    Machine learning system to identify the gender of a player based on how they play.

    /Goes to supervisor.

    • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

      Supervisor: “I don’t care how ridiculous this is. If you can get the NRF to support it, I’m game. Just the other day we had a student suggest we had 1.65 Ma old blood survive in the Cradle. Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.”

      • JJ of Meridian

        And be sure to photo document everything.

        • SargonTheGreatPandaOfAkkad

          With notes. Don’t forget notes. We love notes. Science.

  • Tom Krager

    This has to be a joke .. . . how the fuck would something like this fly in 2014? This is gaming. It’s suppose to be about being good at the fucking game not about what gender you are.
    That being said, I’m a little pissed off about two facts here. Firstly, that there is a gaming event that is strictly “girls only”. Feminists accuse men of making a male only club out of gaming but apparently an organization is literally doing to opposite.
    Secondly I’m pissed that if someone plays good, they are automatically considered a man. That’s bullshit . .. and genuinely sexist.
    This shit is pathetic honestly. I hope its all just trolling.

  • Admiral Chief 0

    Well, if I have never heard Mossel’s voice…I would have thought he was a girl, because he cannot fly!


    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      But how do you know it’s Mossel’s voice? #Conspiracy

      • Admiral Chief 0

        He spoke crustacean

  • HvR

    “tremendous change on how the hero was played during early compared to mid game” – sudden change in temperament, aggressiveness, personality and ability without prior warning or explanation?

    My experience tells me that is a woman.

  • Norman Pleasant

    Not that I condone the segregation and belittling of female players, but (yes, there is a but) it really offends my man-senses when the wife beats me at anything, let alone a game. Men have spent decades building up a chauvinistic, misogynistic and above all dignified air of superiority when it comes to gaming and this must be protected at all costs, lest it offend our man-sensibilities and make us cry.

    Also, there is barely any vitriol in the below comments. Please address this.

  • Willem Swanepoel

    Here is what I do not understand.

    If woman wants to be treated the same as men, then why dont they stop gender specific teams and let the woman play in the same league as the boys ?

    Then they can decide if they want to make a girl only team and play in the same league as the guys ….

  • Joe Soapie

    // there was a tremendous change on how the hero was played during early compared to mid game. //
    So what? People aren’t allowed to change play styles? I’ve seen it in plenty of games, a player will deliberately play one way and then suddenly switch it up to confuse the opponent. It’s called tactics.

    I think the teams comments sums up my view quite well.

  • Detrian

    Now that’s a misleading headline.

  • Smew

    A better headline would be:
    “Female Dota 2 banned for refusing to use Skype as per tournament rules, and suspicion of fielding a male player with previous Dota 1 competitive experience, and a history of using the female player’s account.”

    • hairyknees

      That’s… so long though 😛

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        No wonder you didn’t think of it. BOOOOOM!

  • TrueWOPR

    Problem 1: All female tournament (thus not sexist)
    Problem 2: Girl in question admits to be dating a high ranking player.
    Problem 3: The match she played she was suddenly not only a lot better but playing Meepo, one of her least played characters (but her boyfriends most played character)
    Problem 4: Despite being a streamer, she refused to use a webcam while playing, claiming it was “raising her ping” despite it being required.

    Problem 5: The hosts are Chinese posting in English, it’s not sexism to say “you play like boy” it’s mistranslation in saying “you played a lot like your boyfriend and not your normal self.”

    So sure, it’s sexist. In the same way telling a girl 2+2=/=5 is stomping on her first amendment rights. =_=
    …idiotic SJWs need to stop circle-jerking (or circle-fingering) their politically correct “morals” and need to man up and look up facts before spouting bile and misinformation.

    • hairyknees

      That’s what I meant though… things just really got blown out of proportion.

  • s9klf+cl39fqz05msk0

    The Tournament was an all-girls tournament. The rules were pretty simple.

    They were ALL required to be in Skype or Raidcall (so that they tournament runners KNEW it was them that were playing).

    team (Team Doll) said they would use In-Game chat instead. Their leader
    is known for sharing her account with her BF (Way better than

    One of the games, she picks something completely different
    and plays 1000000x better. Higher APM, different movements. Everything.

    Then when she was asked to verify it was her she didnt and they got disqualified.

    Also, the Tournament was not English.

    believe the hosts were chinese/asian and so when they made their
    statement (in broken, poor-worded english) they said that she ‘played
    like a boy’. When they meant that it was a different person playing.

  • cajaquarius

    Never played DOTA but don’t they have a “Spectate” option. Back in my early days of playing Halflife Deathmatch, if you spectated a player who seemed to never miss and his camera was going crazy or his movement was jerky you could tell he was aimbotting.

    I am not saying she was cheating but play style should be pretty constant. Like if halfway through she is playing totally different, setting camera weird, and so on then you might be able to tell if she was changed out for her boyfriend or something.

  • DrKiller

    Pfff we all know girls can’t play games… Its only when they use their mics ingame that we sometimes get distracted and show poor performance 🙂

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    There are two sides to this horrible example of stupidity

    Firstly the team should have followed the tourney rules. If the tourney rules state that you need to have Skype accounts to verify the identity of players, then you have to shutup, create a Skype account or forfeit the tourney.

    Secondly, the Admin’s justification for banning the team is juvenile and embarrassing. They should have just stopped with “Team doesn’t have Skype accounts, they’re not allowed to play”. Throwing in some bullshit about “boys” playing different to “girls” is just pathetic. They’re rightfully being roasted over the coals for being stupid – however this does not mean the media needs to blow this thing out of proportion. If all of this started as an article on Kotaku (loltaku), it’s probably not worth doing a follow-up. Let the SJWs stew in their faux-progressive politics and condescendingly naive understanding of the world.

  • Lasagna

    No. We are all equal. And me and my GF plays Dota2 everytime, and SHE’s much more better than me, i think this thing limits the rights of women 🙁

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