Recent social media wars between RuHub and SLTV came to abnormal level, both sides constantly insult each other and in terms of upcoming event this sounds very bad. Some of personalities have dropped down do most unethical things putting up personal issues into the fire of conflict. That’s why we, the initiative group of CIS dota veterans (most of us are above 25+) want to ask Valve to resolve the conflict and put this media thrashing to an end.
We want to ask Valve: why we shouldn’t get a high-quality content also? Why we have to listen to something that is relevant only for audience that is below 18 y.o.? English casting is balanced at that point because they know for most of the time when you should make jokes and say irrelevant stuff that is off topic, and when you should make points on key moments of the game.
Example: We can’t remember when Russian cast analyzed a game that was 60+ minutes doing something that Purge does with a magnificent touch, it took only a couple of minutes, 90% of stuff was irrelevant jokes as if you were watching a low budget sitcom. Plus the personality of the host itself is unprofessional, unethical and non-relevant to dota stuff or hosting experience (sadly we don’t have our own RedEye or Machine). And in the end we get something like this:
Sometimes it wasn’t like that. It was the first time when D2 was broadcasted on Russian Federal Channel (Match! TV), and they invited a football commentator Pavel Zanozin to act as a host to the analyst desk and to switch on and out from ESL One Genting 2017. We have to admit that this was first time for several years when Russian casting didn’t have me any kind of headache (Some of us stopped watching Russian casting between TI4 and TI5, occasionally clicked on them but not more than 1-2 minutes), because the host was something that I’d expected and for someone who had almost zero knowledge of Dota he did very good.
We will try describing all the information in details, because not everyone in EU, NA or elsewhere know Russian very well, so let’s get to the main points with all information we’re able to gather up:
1) The story about “broilers” (heavy insult in Russian, English analogue should be sort of “Fat bastards” or smth).
This post relies on heavy critics of SLTV casters by ESforce Holdings CEO Anton Cherepennikov (AKA sneg1):
Short translation of his tweets above:
“I never intervened in casters’s clashes, So I’m writing this as a spectator. Turned on VOD of Virtus. Pro, had to lower the sound to 0 because it’s impossible to listen.
I’m not saying that RuHub casters are great, and they’ve got a lot to work on. But those screaming “broilers” made my ears bleed. I will describe everything in a blog later on”.
Talking about appearance (some casters should work on their physicals and not dressing up smth that looks clowny, again “broilers” reference) and how this is a disrespect to the audience if caster’s appearance is not smth of model-standard type-o.
Asking not to leave on English stream if he dislikes it, he’ll choose Russian because it’s native language preference.
Firing shots on commentators that rely too much on hype sounds “AAAAA, UUUUU” etc.
And last insult was on style of casting: that it was very hard to hear it and it was very unfun to watch also because jokes were lower than most worthless standup comedian.
In the end he mentioned that this was a request to ALL (yes, ALL) casters of CIS studios on what they should work on. It’s worth mentioning that RuHub (circa ESforce) holds 90% of tournaments casting rights as an official one, so this should’ve been considered as a signal to the RuHub casters also, but it had zero effect on them.
And then something interesting occurred:
Personal insults to CaspeRRR (calling him “couch warrior”, closest resemblance should be keyboard warrior) that he’s nice and kind only on official casting, and rough and cocky when he’s talking from home. Afterwards there are threats that resemble 90’s of former Soviet countries (you can’t hide your criminal past).
And then there is a wall of text about competence (e.g. how should he know that caster Mila_Alieva is a gf of S1lent, how should he know Dota knowledge if he has 4500 hours played, how should he know who is Viktor Volkov (AKA Godhunt), how should he know about Summit and his special atmosphere, etc.). Our opinion is that if you’re a CEO of such organization you should know something at least about your own employees, and not asking questions as if you’re a newcomer. Last thing talks about hypocrisy and how to make e-sports massive and thrashing casters that they care mostly about their ego. Ironical, isn’t it. Let’s add that one of the key members in ESforce is NS’s wife (KozaDereza) which also is a pure example of “professionalism”.
2) v1lat’s insults about rival studios having less than 98 watchers at peak (easily countered by CaspeRRR’s proof below):
V1lat’s telegram post.
I’ve read a lot of messages saying that TI7 Quals are terrible, everything is bad, we can’t go on like this now etc.
Blah-blah-blah, Quals were great, 8 days of fun, and if there is “low level of dota” – those are the problems of those who have less than 100 viewers.
Afterwards he describes some key matches, some low-level memes, and showing comparison between RuHub and competitors from events (first number is RuHub).
Manila Major: 80%/20%
TI7 Quals: 99%/1%.
So let’s say that we clearly see a pure disadvantage hence there are mostly no tournaments that rival studios are able to pick up as official cast. Quantity over quality doesn’t work because the quality falls down, and in Russian streams it just continues to do so.
3) Godhunt’s personal insult against Bafikk after the closed info about invites for casters/analysts on TI7 came out from the shadows:
At first he quotes Bafikk’s twitter post about pressure using media-resources, then goes asking in what direction he works, after he questions his methods in terms of how our community will develop and that Bafikk will commit everything that it will go in a right way. So Godhunt starts trolling him, asking in which way it will go, making fun about his appearance (remember “broilers” again) and how Bafikk has complex about it, etc etc.
We think that this is a complete unprofessionalism (how you should insult the people you’ll be working with for several days and in theory, you may cast the same match together, so the personal grudge may lead to bad consequences). There was no punishment for this guy so far, not from his bosses or someone else, so the question is open.
4) Personal Vendetta against CaspeRRR and non-stop shitstorm from RuHub personalities (series of tweets or media posts):
Mistafaker’s doubts that CaspeRRR has gone instane.
NS fires shots on CaspeRRR’s new idea of casting (vyser, English analogue should be something like pile of dogshit).
NS’s wife continues the latter, going into conflict with Empire’s SMM and daring him to make a movie when he requests them to stop fueling conflicts between people.
Godhunt insulting CaspeRRR by comparing him to an earthworm.
V1lat calling everyone who are involved in choosing media casters and analysts clowns and jesters.
V1lat expressing his thoughts about Kyiv Major (literally calling it the shittiest major in history).
Maelstorm’s thoughts about claiming Valve’s media invite system as “obvious unfairness”.
TL;DR: Mistafaker continues to insult CaspeRRR’s leaving to SLTV and describes some details of seeds that came up as a media warfare now (Inmateoo being taken by RuHub as an example).
Mistafaker insulting Funn1k’s presence as SLTV analyst, calling him a pure disgrace to a community (short story, it was after Funn1k came up with 1% meme).
Match! TV’s football commentator Pavel Zanozin about slangs, slurs in official casts of RuHub.
Old feud between CaspeRRR, NS and his wife about his return to SLTV (talks about salary, NS’s wife insulting that CaspeRRR went back only because his wife is also present in production hub of SLTV, backfiring by having some compromising evidence etc).
As you can see, this stuff is going for quite a long time and there’s no sign when it will stop. So far as we understand, it will only continue until the superpowers (circa Valve) interferes and will put and end to this for the sake of Russian Dota community that takes care about it’s image.
It all started with TI4 and analyst desk where Alexei “Solo” Berezin was present. That was first call because if you look into some videos you’ll find a clue how it all began, when they started rolling over numbers by not giving anything around high-level content. Simple example: Dubravin brothers, who were known in Russian community as PEREVODCHIK brothers (circa translators). They are close personal friends of v1lat, and he invited them to be the translators of TI3's analyst panel. When the CIS-panel was born, v1lat tried to make them part of it (despite the fact that they are regular pub-players and have nothing to contribute to the community), but the community ravaged, so, after a year or two, they were removed from the talent list. However, they still have jobs in the management of RuHub.
TI5 was the peak level of organization so far (afterwards all casters were brought to RuHub, mostly former SLTV ones). RuHub became clear monopoly on the Russian speaking community market after the 100M dollar investment from famous Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov (also holds share in FC Arsenal to clarify).
In the end Dubravin brothers were taken off from positions in RuHub casters/analysts desk, but they’re still holding a place in the production area (simply because they’re close to v1lat, who is known or how he calls himself “Godfather of Russian dota”).
First conflict happened when CaspeRRR was declined from his request by the ESforce holding (KozaDereza, NS’s wife) so he left RuHub for Starladder thus bringing up the rebirth of former studio that was left in ruins when most of casters/analysts went to RuHub because they offered more $. So to say after CaspeRRR’s return to SLTV he posted a blog where he described why he left and what was the main issue (although some information wasn’t published), and then ESforce and RuHub casters started a media attack on rival studio, and mostly on CaspeRRR, which can be found at some links upper.
The grudge continued on TI6, on the terms who should cast the grandfinal, after TI6 two people from SLTV were offered a big chunk of $ from RuHub and now are present there (4ce and Inmateoo). Then there was Summit 6 and “broilers” (also upwards).
Next stop was the Kiev Major, because Valve gave production to PGL and SLTV, when sneg1 was in a furious rage because Moscow was dumped from hosting a major, thus encouraging his subordinates to blame every fail on SLTV and PGL, and that’s how so called “Anonymous letter” came out (which is mostly v1lat’s writings because manner of speech looks strangely very close to his).
Afterwards v1lat starts using his Telegram account to continue shitstorming SLTV by using viewer number counts as an example (although it can be found that RuHub uses some sort of hidden script in order to pump up viewer count sometimes).
Now the war in media goes on, but main theme now is how many people were brought into casting/analyzing, and some of RuHub’s crew was left out of the main tournament. I’d like to add that V1lat and his subordinate Godhunt fell down to public insults, mainly addressing BafiKK as a target of their media abuse. And the motivation of whole story is how the Russian analyst desk’s quality felt down from event to event (90% of content are stupid jokes about Na’VI, KBU). The real analysts (JotM, Goblak, Inmateoo) are unable to analyze the match clearly because they have no power (same goes for Russian host MistaFaker, who is also unprofessional and unethical person).
Afterwards let’s describe some of v1lat’s shadow personality moments which lead to the publication of post, some of the are subjective, some are not, you decide:
a) Low casting level (Ukrainian accent [still unable to say HP without it], slangs and slurs, unfunny jokes, biased casting when it comes to CIS teams).
b) Tribalism and corruption (the interviewer is his wife, and the former translators Dubravin brothers are his friends).
c) Abuse of power in terms of using non-respected people on key matches (story of Maelstorm and Adekvat casting on Epicenter, recently new added caster Mila_Alieva who is a girlfriend of current Vega player Silent that has very bad level of knowledge and sometimes says such things for which in former times you’d been banished forever from media).
d) Non-stopping trashtalk in social media (Twitter, Telegram, VK etc), Valve is also present as a target of insults.
e) Recent example: RuHub shutted down the Virtus Pro’s team stream of CIS TI7 Finals as an example of heavy power abuse.
We’re done. We’re asking for a high quality content of Dota, because we are the audience that invests more money into Dota, and we’d like to watch something that meets the standards. So we have a short list of requests that only Valve are able to do:
• Bolster up competition between different studios in Russian Dota community (there are a lot of talented casters but they can’t come out due to heavy corruption and favouritism).
• Commit sanctions against personalities that are behaving in inappropriate way (V1lat, sneg1, Godhunt [P.S. Ideally replace the last one with 4ce, as he’s more professional and wasn’t presented in the media shitstorm heavily so far].
• Hire a person that’s Russian is perfect enough in order to listen and understand Russian streams, by filtering some unnecessary stuff (I’m not asking for censorship, it’s about professionalism).
• Initiate a system where community has the power to choose whom they want to see on events as casters/analysts in Russian D2 community (it works mostly for English casts now, story of Kotlguy as example).
• Treat the Russian officials same as English ones and not giving invites without control (for example not setting up 2 hype casters on match, ideally should be a pair of hype man [LD, ODPixel] and former pro player, analyst or any kind of a person that has knowledge of dota).
• Invite some professional hosts, who can help the cast to improve. Presumably some people from TV (perhaps Pavel Zanozin, mentioned above, or just someone, who has an education in journalistics and experience in working on camera).
Our voice is a cry for help, because we’re unable to sit and talk with these people in order for them to work professionally. Because these people are the face of Russian community. And things they say and do have an influence, let’s say how many people were irritated by getting up Russian speaking guys in team that refuse to communicate using basic words, insult and rage on their teammates or griefing heavily? There are adequate people who’re able to do so, but the fact is when someone sees Cyrillic letters in chat they start insulting without any reason because the image itself speaks for it. And that’s all because these people support this kind of a behavior. So we want our voice to be heard, because if we can’t speak with them, we should try something different. To finalize our blog, we kindly ask Valve to make personalities take responsibility for their words and actions, and to help us improve the situation, as the Russian stream is usually one of the most watched ones.
1. The quality of russian cast and analyst panel is very poor. Some of the personalities are highly unprofessional and their content influences the un-mature community in the bad way. Instead of game analysis, we usually get a cavalcade of not-funny jokes and cheap memes. However, there are some people, who try to make quality content (Inmate, Goblak, Jotm, Lex, 4ce, Droog, etc.), but that's usually not enough.
2. The organization of ESForce (owns RuHub, VP, NaVi, Epicenter, etc.) is corrupted - most of their employees are friends or relatives of sneg, v1lat, NS, etc.; even if they are not suited for they jobs.
3. The conflict between two major casting studios (RuHub and SLTV) has turned into a shitshow, with talents of both studios constantly flaming each other in social media, being highly unprofessional and forgetting about the professional ethics.
4. The situation gets worse, as RuHub aims to gain complete monopoly in the region, while not even thinking about improving the overall quality of the cast. Instead of this they prefer to use cheesy tactics (remember that "anonymous" letter) to fight their opponents.
5. We want the situation to improve and thus, we ask Valve to help. In the last paragraph of the big text we suggest a list of some requests, which, we believe, can improve the situation.