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Dota 2 team Soniqs releases player after TI11 racist effigy incident

After being eliminated from TI11, Dota 2 team Soniqs has released Brazilian player Leslao after a racist message appeared during a broadcasted match

Dota 2 TI 11 Soniqs: The International trophy, the Aegis of Champions, on a pedestal surrounded by smoke

Following its elimination from The International 11, Dota 2 team Soniqs has announced that it is releasing player Rodrigo ‘LESLÃO’ Santos due to an incident in which a racist slur appeared on the official stream of its match against BOOM Esports.

The crucial elimination match – which Soniqs lost, seeing it leave the competition – also proved to be problematic for LESLÃO after an observer unintentionally clicked on his in-game effigy (for the unaware, effigies are personalised statues you can place in your own base that come with personalised messages).

For a brief moment, the message from LESLÃO’s effigy flashed on screen, and it contained a racist slur. You can watch the moment in the Twitch clip below, but consider this a content warning for racist language.

Following the match, the player apologised, calling it “inappropriate and hurtful”. The Brazilian also alleges that it was not a recent remark, and that he had written it “many years ago” and forgot that he had done so.

Despite the apology, Soniqs has now released LESLÃO from his contract. In a statement, Soniqs says that it has a “zero-tolerance policy towards racism or discrimination of any kind”.

This incident comes just a couple of months after Soniqs entered the Dota 2 scene after acquiring the multi-regional roster of Quincy Crew, which included LESLÃO.

The International 11 resumes on October 20 with the beginning of the knockout stage.