Another matchfixing scandal hits the professional Dota 2 scene
Two Chinese teams participating in the Dota 2 Secondary Professional League have been provided bans of varying degrees from all future MarsTV and DPL tournaments.
Amidst exciting times for the professional scene of Dota 2, incidents of matchfixing among the smaller and lower tier teams continue to emerge. This is despite Valve's stringent and ruthless bans on players and teams found to have been involved in suspicious or malicious behavior that threatens the integrity and sportsmanship of the game. The teams involved this time in such a case are ULrica- and Rock.Young, the latter of which was none other than the last surviving team representing China at the World Electronic Sports Games 2017, finishing with an impressive 4th place at the tournament.
The organising committee of the Dota 2 Professional League (DPL), prominently Mars Media (ex-MarsTV), made the announcement in a Weibo post on their decision following a careful scrutiny of every move made by either team in the group stage match. There were several examples of suspicious behavior right from the start. Players on both teams were dying without using any items or abilities. There were also illogical chases which involved unnecessary tower damage being taken, that eventually led to deaths with no favorable trades. The game ended with Rock.Y 5-manning down the mid lane with minimum resistance from the players of ULrica.
The event was first brought to light by the clip shown above that was shared throughout the Dota 2 community via platforms such as YouTube, Reddit and Twitch. This situation has apparently evoked a lot of anger and disgust from both the professional and casual players of the Dota 2 community in China.
Dimitri "Mali" Vallette, Director of Events at @MarsMedia, also clarified that the teams involved were participating in the Dota 2 Secondary Professional League, which serves as a platform for amateur and rising teams to practice and improve. This is to differentiate it from the primary Dota 2 Professional League which is an alternative method for Chinese teams to qualify for the MDL Changsha Major, one of the last and most important Majors of this Dota Pro Circuit season.
As such, the organizing committee of DPL declared the following penalties specific to their tournaments due to both teams displaying a "negative" and "passive" behavior during the game:
- The organisations Rock.Y and ULrica are banned from all future MarsTV and DPL tournaments.
- The players Rock.Y.Ayo, Rock.Y.Hitagi, ULrica.Fan, ULrica.Scorpio and ULrica.OLOS have been banned for life from all future MarsTV and DPL tournaments.
- The remaining 5 players have been banned for two years from all future MarsTV and DPL tournaments and will be revisited in two years.
GGNet spoke to a representative for DPL and MarsTV who stated that although they have reached a decision, a report is being submitted to Valve for further discussion and any finalized decisions regarding the consequences.
Of course, there is always potential lifetime bans for Valve events as seen with at least 21 other players from Peru, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia.
Sadly, since the detailed analysis of the problem of match-fixing in our article last year, the Dota 2 scene has made little progress on the front. There seems to be no reform by Valve, the tournament organizers or the organizations of the teams themselves. It was expected that Valve would take a harder stance on match-fixing in Dota 2 which would prevent more examples from cropping up again.
Valve has made drastic changes to many different aspects of the game in recent times, such as the structure of the professional scene in the form of the Dota Pro Circuit, 6 month bans for reports in match-making and rules surrounding broadcasting and streaming tournament games. Hopefully, this issue will be met with equal seriousness with an effective reform.