‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
The ACE lifetime ban of all the Random (ex-Wings) players comes at an interesting time. Valve in Dota 2 (and CS:GO) has always tried to put the player first for the esports scene. This is why the players — rather than the teams — get the seeds into the Majors. But this situation will test exactly how much they are willing to go as China is one of the big moneymakers for Valve. They have strong ties with Perfect World and the Chinese scene in general. This is exacerbated by the fact that Wings will get a seed into TI7 as they were the champions of the last one. If they don’t get one, that’s telling as to who Valve side with. Even when the ex-Wings players go to TI, will the cast be allowed to talk about the ACE ban? But that’s going too far into the future.
I think it’s likely the case that Valve will want to get some kind of compromise where the Random players are punished for the breach of contract, but are able to come back into the fold with ACE. The problem is that ACE never seemed particularly compromising so it could be an all or nothing case. At the same time, Valve is pushing CS:GO through Perfect World into China and wants the ACE teams to participate in that scene as well.
If we look at historical precedent, if China takes a hard line, Valve will bend the knee. When Chisbug was basically put into iG prison, Valve did nothing to help him. When Perfect World broadcast shit show after shit show culminating into the Shanghai Major, Valve did nothing (but was willing to kick out 2GD for a joke that crossed the line). When the Chinese teams continued to get more and more academy teams, Valve did nothing. When it was revealed that Ruru had a Steam API Key that allowed her to see the secret scrims of all other teams for years, they did nothing. So I hate to say it, but I think they’ll do nothing again. It’s just who they are.