posted by SmittyW.,
Michelle 'Moxxi' Song has called out the massive toxicity she and other female talent have to deal with from parts of the Dota 2 community. Her praise for her colleagues and the issues she raised have received a lot of support. Due to the huge effort we expect would be required to moderate this article, we have deactivated the comment section.

"We need to talk", Moxxi tweeted on Thursday. In the TwitLonger she linked, the TI10 caster wrote a massive statement against the "negativity and shit stirring" which has been going on against the female Dota 2 talent. The poor treatment of women in the Dota community has been a recurring topic over the years, which we also covered multiple times here on joinDOTA, most recently in our interview with the Dota Valkyries. Not only does she share her own experiences but also the story of TI10 desk host Frankie Ward who got quite a bit of a backlash.

More often than not, the hard work of women gets ignored, Moxxi states. Instead, they are being belittled by parts of the community, under constant scrutiny, and even if they do everything right, another female talent allegedly did it better – ignoring the fact that they have different tasks within each production: "stop comparing the female talent to ONLY other female talent. Our physical features are not a valid reason to compare us to one another, especially if we have DIFFERENT roles we play in a broadcast."

The negativity against Frankie was something which Moxxi finds particularly vicious:

As all of us know, Dota is HARD. It is extremely complicated and takes years to get a firm grasp on. (...) Frankie dove in headfirst, even allowed people to watch and laugh at her as she learnt. But for some stupid reason, some people in the Dota community felt the need to gatekeep her and shun her simply because she didn't have as many hours or knowledge as them.

What makes matters worse, as Moxxi points out, is that the popular esports host went to Romania while pregnant, did a phenomenal job, and still got no "empathy from the Dota 2 community."

Gatekeeping is killing Dota

Moxxi continues to argue that "Gatekeeping is the fastest way to watch something you love die." In her opinion, this phenomenon is one of the reasons the NA scene is on the decline. New players are often not welcomed, ridiculed, and excluded. Rather than being "excited to see new people, we should be extending our hands and helping them", the toxic parts of the community do quite the opposite.

She concludes that people who behave like this are egoists, and their gatekeeping has nothing to do with protecting the game or letting it flourish. "The people who only tout their MMR and how smart they are don't truly love the game, they only love themselves and their own superiority."

Massive support from the esports scene

Apart from all this negativity, Moxxi had also a lot of positive things to say about some of her colleagues. Mira 'ephey' , Alex 'sheepsticked' Roberts, and Kasumi 'Sumichu' Yogi are also mentioned in her TwitLonger. She praises the three women for their strong work ethic and even more for their shining, supportive personalities.

On Twitter, she received support from other notable esports personalities: analyst Alan 'Nahaz' Bester, StarCraft 2 commentator Jessica 'ZombieGrub' Chernega, Ephey, and esports photorapher Adela Sznajder commented under Moxxi's tweet, supporting her statement.

Of course, such a statement offended a lot of people, exactly proving Moxxi's point. The caster called out the many "angry redditors" who apparently never even bothered to read her text before complaining.

Moxxi owns critics by casting TI10

Moxxi's hard work has certainly paid off: At The International 2021 she was "the first woman ever to play by play cast the main stage of the Dota 2 International in English." Besides toxic comments, she received a lot of praise from the community, doing a fabulous job. This is an achievement only a few people in the world have pulled off, so this certainly speaks for her abilities as a caster.

Photo credit: DreamHack / Vexanie