Meta4Pro / DreamHack

DreamLeague Season 14 team forfeits after match-fixing suspicions

There’s a new format to competitive Dota 2 in 2021 but it seems like the same old problems remain.

Meta4Pro has announced the dissolution of its Dota 2 team due to suspected match-fixing. The organization took to its VK.com to break down the situation.

“Meta4Pro is leaving the DreamLeague Season 14 European lower division. This decision was made by team management after the last two matches against the teams Hippomaniacs and Burjui. We have reason to believe that some of the players played dishonestly and were possibly involved in 322 stories. We do not want to give specific names...since there is not 100% confirmation from the commission that this is the case. Work to investigate the possible violation is underway and will be completed in the near future,” Meta4Pro said.

“322” is parlance in Dota 2 for match-fixing, specifically where a player places bets against the team he is competing for and then deliberately plays poorly to guarantee a winning bet. The term comes from an infamous match-fixing incident where Alexey "Solo" Berezin won $322 by throwing a game for his team at the time, RoX.KIS. 

Before withdrawing, Meta4Pro had an 0-5 record with two more games left to play. Their remaining games have been turned into forfeit losses, which leaves the team with a 0-7 record. The players attached to the team will also be forced into open qualifiers in order to earn a spot in the league for the next season.

What is Dota 2 match fixing?

Match fixing in Dota 2 usually involves a team intentionally losing an official pro game for money. This typically sees a player or players from one team place a wager against themselves on a sportsbook website, then intentionally lose in order to guarantee the bet is won. The opposing team is typically unaware of this, but that’s not always the case as teams can collude to fix the results with greater specificity. 

The most notorious example of match fixing in Dota 2 concluded earlier this year, involving The International 2014 winning organization Newbee. Fans and pro players alike questioned the legitimacy of the organization’s game against Avengerls in the qualifiers to the StarLadder Minor Season 3, an official Dota Pro Circuit event. 

This speculation was seemingly legitimized a few months later when the Newbee organization and its roster were given lifetime bans from multiple tournament organizers. On January 3, Valve announced that it would implement similar punishments on the players from Dota Pro Circuit events and The International.

It is unclear whether Valve will take action against Meta4Pro but it is disappointing to see that match-fixing in Dota 2 remains pervasive to the point where it is happening in Dota Pro Circuit events.