It has not been a good start to the season for TNC’s Carlo "Kuku" Palad, but things may finally be looking up.
The end of the Chongqing Major marked the conclusion of Ryo "ryOyr" Hasegawa’s short stint with the team as Kuku has been welcomed back to the starting roster.
After a poor showing at The International 2018, things started to fall apart for Kuku. Despite a better performance at the Kuala Lumpur Major things went south when Kuku found himself in the center of a racial controversy.
Kuku’s use of racial slurs in public Dota games versus Chinese players made him persona non grata in the Chinese Dota 2 community. The situation was made worse by TNC management’s failure to resolve the issue. Following threats from the local government in China, Valve intervened by banning Kuku from the Chongqing Major.
Kuku took a leave of absence from TNC and was replaced by ryOyr. With the upcoming major in sight, TNC’s prospects looked bleak. Despite putting up a good fight early at the event in Chongqing, the SEA side was knocked out of the group stage and into the lower bracket by EHOME.
In the lower bracket, TNC managed to surprise fans by upsetting Team Aster. This success would prove short-lived as TNC was knocked out of the tournament in the following round by Team Liquid.
The former captain of TNC has a difficult task ahead of him. Apart from integrating back into the TNC roster, Kuku will face the daunting task of getting back into the good graces of the Dota 2 community.
Racism remains a problem in many gaming communities, and Kuku's situation is the latest to demonstrate how much work yet needs to be done in addressing it.