TI12 Dota 2 Scandal Exposed: Alleged Match-Fixing Shakes Chinese Esports Landscape

Claims of match-fixing have plagued the Chinese Dota 2 community for a number of years. Notably, CDA, ImbaTV, and MarsTV banned TI4 winner Newbee

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By Naman Alok | Nov 15, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

A stunning revelation that has caused a stir in the Chinese Dota 2 community is that Team Holy Grail has been accused of match-fixing at The International 2023 (TI12) China Qualifier. Famous Bilibili content producer Jie Chu Ge, who gained notoriety for his involvement in exposing the Knights’ wrongdoings, has published a film that presents strong evidence against Holy Grail. The claims also raise the possibility that Team Bright and Team Disillusion (now Dark Horse) were involved. TI12 Dota 2 Scandal Exposed: Alleged Match-Fixing Shakes Chinese Esports Landscape

Exposing Match-Fixing and Suspicious Activities at TI12 Qualifiers

According to Jie Chu Ge’s evidence, Holy Grail players were accused of engaging in match-fixing during the TI12 China Qualifier. These conversations were recorded on voicemail. The conversations that are revealed by the recordings are between players of Holy Grail. They describe deliberate activities that they do throughout the game, including purposefully losing at the 35-minute point, and how team members and management divide the winnings.

Holy Grail’s gaming validity is called into question as the film painstakingly analyses moments from the TI12 qualifying round. Of particular note, Holy Grail decided to challenge Roshan at the 36-minute mark rather than taking the high ground with the creeps, even though they had a substantial 12K gold advantage. Holy Grail lost the advantage and was eventually defeated as a result of this decision. The actions of all three involved teams have been thoroughly investigated as a result of these seemingly unreasonable behaviours as well as other disclosures that have sparked doubts.

Alleged Threats and Retaliatory Actions

According to the recordings, Jie Chu Ge was also allegedly threatened with dire penalties if the match-fixing operations were discovered. The players in Holy Grail talked about taking revenge and even threatened the life of the content author in case their illegal activities were discovered.

There are signs that Team Bright and Team Disillusion (formerly known as Dark Horse) may have worked together to rig games such that they might be viewed as betting propositions. Jie Chu Ge has presented these results to Perfect World, ESL, and Valve in an effort to increase openness in the situation, thereby launching inquiries.

Persistent Match-Fixing Issues in Chinese Dota 2

Claims of match-fixing have plagued the Chinese Dota 2 community for a number of years. Notably, CDA, ImbaTV, and MarsTV banned TI4 winner Newbee and their lineup from Chinese Dota 2 tournaments in 2020 on the grounds that they were suspected of match-fixing in several tournaments. Similar to this, the Chinese Dota 2 team Knights was accused of match-fixing during the Lima Major 2023, not for the first time. Strange odds during the Knights’ Major League series versus Geek Slate and Entity spurred social media debates about possible match-fixing.

Five Dota 2 teams were forced to withdraw from the DPC China 2023 Tour 2: Division I and II in March 2023 by Perfect World, the Chinese Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) organiser, as a result of these regulations. These teams comprised professionals who had already been barred from Valve competitions for “esports integrity violations.” The teams were Kylin Esports Club (formerly LBZS), Antarctic Penguins (formerly Knights), EHOME, Solitude (formerly Dawn Gaming), and Team Mystique.

The Dota 2 esports community is waiting impatiently for the results of investigations by game developers and tournament organisers due to the persistent threat of match-fixing. It is critical to protect competitive gaming’s integrity and to act quickly and decisively in order to maintain the confidence of both players and spectators.

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