WePlay! suspends team from Pushka League over alleged match fixing

Steven R. April 29, 2020

According to the tournament organizer, WePlay! Pushka League Division 2 was home to a fixed match between two of its competing teams. 

On April 26, a group stage match between Cyber Legacy and CyberTRAKTOR saw members of the latter team fixing the match in concert with betting interests. Cyber Legacy won the series 2-0. WePlay! issued a statement on the matter on its official website.

“Our esports department and the analysts of WePlay! Pushka League carefully examined the matches and came to the conclusion that Cyber TRAKTOR, with a high degree of probability, made bets on some intermediate results of their matches...Until all the circumstances are clarified, Cyber TRAKTOR is suspended from participation in WePlay! Pushka League,” WePlay! stated.

WePlay! Esports Lead Esports Manager Vitaliy “Nexius” Bozhko issued a statement alongside this saying that sanctions will be announced once the investigation into the matter is concluded. 

The statement hones in on CyberTRAKTOR specifically, suggesting that WePlay! has no suspicions regarding Cyber Legacy or its players. WePlay! did not state whether it suspected any specific player or partner of CyberTRAKTOR, or whether the whole team was involved.

Match fixing in WePlay! Pushka League is nothing new for Dota 2

Competitive integrity in esports has been a constant struggle for years. The most high-profile instances of match fixing in esports came in 2010 in StarCraft: Brood War and in 2015 in StarCraft 2, with both cases seeing numerous top pro players implicated and some being arrested by local authorities.

While those are the biggest examples, there have still been plenty more in the years since across almost every notable esports title. Dota 2 is no different.

In February of this year, there were multiple alleged cases of match fixing as Chinese Dota 2 legends Zhang "xiao8" Ning and Chen "Zhou" Yao claimed that a match was thrown in the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3 qualifiers in China. This was immediately followed by Chinese streaming site HuomaoTV announcing that it had fired one of its staffers due to attempts to fix a match at the EGB.com Arena of Blood event.

The pervasiveness of match fixing in esports remains a serious issue, but is particularly problematic in smaller leagues and events like WePlay! Pushka League Division 2.