Beyond the Summit and Valve officially banned Jimmy “DeMoN” Ho today from competing in the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit due to his alleged misconduct at previous Dota 2 tournaments.
DeMoN was one of several figures in the Dota community accused of sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior last June.
Unlike some of the other more prominent names included in the esports #MeToo movement that took place throughout the summer, DeMoN remained somewhat active. Up until recently, he was offering coaching lessons before forming a stack to compete in North America open qualifiers for the DPC.
His team, Aristotle, made it into the second stage of the closed qualifiers before BTS stepped in and removed him from the competition while still giving his teammates the opportunity to continue playing with a substitute.
“Player Jimmy ‘DeMoN’ Ho has been banned from participating in the DPC due to misconduct at previous Dota 2 tournaments,” BTS said. “Team Aristotle can continue to compete in the NA DPC league and will be permitted to register a replacement player.”
BTS also banned DeMoN from commentating for the company again at any future events.
In response, DeMoN once again denied the allegations and said he never admitted to the actions he was accused of. He specified that after an initial attempt at physical affection, he and one of his accusers moved on and remained friends until she came out with her statement against him in June.
“I fucked up with my first statement being extremely emotional, distraught, and disoriented,” DeMoN said. “I’m being accused of something I didn’t do. The one person that came forward, Eleine was a surprise as we remained friends through the years hanging out and having personal talks.”
He deleted his public apology in November, stating that he “didn’t write the statement” and was “emotionally hasty and publishing it.” DeMoN also said the initial statement is something that is constantly brought up against him as evidence, despite his insistence that nothing happened beyond the initial attempt to make a move.
DeMoN said he will continue to work on clearing his name, starting with opening a line of communication with Valve about this most recent ban and looking into legal options.
Other players, such as Peter “ppd” Dager, have also called out this move from BTS and Valve, stating that DeMoN denied all of the allegations that were put out by an anonymous third party and should not be banned because of that.
But Valve and BTS are both private companies that can make judgement based on how they feel internally about the situation. Internal discussions likely led to this ban being made to hedge against any of the allegations actually being true.
In response to the ban itself, BTS founder and Dota commentator David “GoDz” Parker apologized to the players for the poor timing.
“The timing sucks and we’re really sorry to his teammates who are negatively affected by it,” GoDz said. “That part of things was an unfortunate mistake we can only apologize for.”
Aristotle will be able to continue competing in the closed qualifiers for the NA DPC regional league with a substitute player in their match on Jan. 10.