Steven R. June 23, 2020
Another match fixing scandal has hit Dota 2’s professional scene.
Beyond the Summit has announced the ejection of PlusOne from its ongoing BTS Pro Series Season 2: Americas event due to alleged match fixing incidents. Alongside this, the tournament organizer has issued indefinite bans from any BTS-organized tournaments to players Chedrin “Ched” Asinas, Yixaun "xuan" Guo, and Alejandro “Jano” Moreno.
“Team PlusOne have been removed from BTS Pro Series due to multiple, confirmed incidents of match fixing. All previous match results will be nullified. We have provided relevant information and evidence to Valve. PlusOne are currently banned from all future BTS tournaments,” BTS said on Twitter.
All of PlusOne’s games in the event have been reverted to 0-2 losses and they were issued forfeit losses for each of their upcoming series in the BTS Pro Series’ group stage. PlusOne had a 4-8 record in the group stage. It is not clear which particular series the team is accused of fixing, though some claims have been made.
BTS announced that the other two members of PlusOne, Nicolás "Wij" Moreno and David “dnm” Cossio, were not being issued the same indefinite ban as their teammates. This suggests that either the match fixing was perpetrated by their teammates' acting alone, or that tournament officials simply lacked the needed evidence to confirm Wij or dnm's involvement.
Match fixing issues continue to plague Dota 2
Match fixing is a major problem across all of esports.
The process typically sees players or organizational staff bet against their team in a contest and then impact the game in a way that ensures a winning bet. This can vary in some cases, but many of esports’ largest match fixing scandals fall into this category. The iBUYPOWER incident in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a notable example from another esport.
Dota 2 has seen several cases like this in the past, and even notable players such as Virtus.pro’s Alexey "Solo" Berezin have admitted to betting against themselves and intentionally losing.
While this has been a lingering issue in the whole of esports, things have gotten particularly bad in Dota 2 in recent months. In February, Chinese organization Newbee was accused of match fixing and banned from numerous top domestic leagues in the country. Newbee has an illustrious pedigree in Dota 2, winning The International in 2014 and nearly doing so again in 2017.
Though PlusOne doesn’t have that same kind of history, the fact that incidents such as these keep happening is worrying. So too is the fact that they are happening more frequently at larger events.