The latest pro Dota 2 tournament may just be a front for a gambling scam.
The NA Summer Shuffle is a seemingly normal mid-tier Dota 2 tournament, boasting a number of the teams that fans might recognize from regional qualifiers run for larger events. The trouble is that at least a few of these teams withdrew from the tournament over concerns regarding the organizer’s ability to come through on the promised prize pool. While that’s standard fare for esports, what’s more concerning is that at least one of the teams that withdrew from the event is still seemingly competing in the tournament.
According to Dota 2 team Doze Reborn, the organizer created bogus accounts using its players’ names and has been playing fake games attached to the team. This riled up the team’s manager, who released a scathing message on the matter on Twitter:
This is the state of T2 dota, we havent played a tournament in weeks and the @ShuffleNa couldnt prove they were sponsored and had the funds THEN used the ticket and fake accounts to fake our games being played and it was on betting sites https://t.co/JvYgfFCFvJ
I am disgusted.
— Doze Reborn Cyber Athletics Club (@DozeReborn) June 30, 2020
The NA Summer Shuffle doesn’t have many credentialed competitors, with the biggest name likely being Infinity Esports. Infinity’s roster includes a number of South American players who have previously played for the likes of Infamous and Thunder Predator, with the organization itself also competing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends.
Infinity told a very similar story to that of Doze, stating that fake games were being played with the team’s name on Facebook.
“We were invited to the NA Summer Shuffle that started today, June 29. Two hours before the match, the organizers postponed the game and rescheduled it to July 1. A few hours ago, we received a message that we were playing the tournament…Seems like they created fake accounts and used the team’s name and players’ tags to play the game,” Infinity said in a statement.
Finally, the Portland Burnsiders added that a game played in the team’s name was also not legitimate:
Unfortunate situation unfolding…We’re sad to hear that our fellow NA compatriots @DozeReborn have had their roster spoofed for scam betting purposes. We will not be playing in the @ShuffleNa, if any games occur w/ the “Burnsiders” playing that is not actually our team playing. https://t.co/P3dbkoPacL
— Portland Burnsiders (@PDXBurnsiders) June 30, 2020
A fake tournament being played out would be strange under normal circumstances, but things seem to be a bit more nefarious here. Some betting sites ran markets for matches in this tournament, with at least two of those matches being illegitimate. This opens the door to the NA Summer Shuffle being part of something illegal.
The organizer behind the event has not made a post on social media since it began.