All the problems with Bali Major, from cheating to stream errors

Reading time: 2 min

Since it began on June 29, 2023, the Bali Major has run into more problems than any major before this year.

2023 has been a rough year for Dota 2 esports fans. Between the production catastrophes of the Lima Major, which ultimately ran on secondhand equipment, and the current issues in Bali, some fans have gone as far as to compare it to the infamously terrible Shanghai Major. While the Bali Major has certainly had its problems, is it really enough to draw that comparison?

Bali Major problems include cheating, stream bugs, and more

The production of the event is the first to come under fire. The stream has bugged out on several occasions, with massive pauses interrupting multiple key matches. Fans have decried the repetitive ads showing everything from luxury Indonesia resorts to gambling sites. The drone flybys were impressive the first time, but the 100th time doesn’t have the same impact.

But the biggest problems of all with the Bali Major were the multiple cheating scandals. The biggest of all was related to the best game of the event so far, with BetBoom grinding out Tundra in over 100 minutes to close their upper bracket series 2-0. However, it was revealed that Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko tabbed out during a lengthy pause to check the stream. This resulted in BetBoom’s win being voided and Tundra getting the win. Tundra was also penalized for a player leaving Spotify open on the tournament PC, taking a draft penalty for its series against Liquid. 

And that isn’t even the only cheating problem. In a series between Azure Ray and nouns, the former team stood accused of bug abuse for clicking on watchers out of the fog to determine enemy movements. The bug was ruled illegal in between games one and two, leading to massive controversy for flip-flopped enforcement. The bug remains in the game completely unpatched as of the day of the grand finals.

All of these problems combined have made 2023 a rough year for the production quality of Dota 2 majors. Combined with all the mishaps of the Lima Major, it could be argued that this year had the worst average international event quality in history. However, the Shanghai Major still likely takes the cake as the worst individual event for its technical nightmares and theft issues.