Chinese team accused of cheating in DPC upper division

By Kenneth Williams


Jan 12, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Cheating is a rare thing in Dota 2 esports, but one team may have exploited a maphack at the highest level of the DPC.

In a shock to the Dota 2 pro scene, upper division DPC squad Knights has been accused of using cheats during their seasonal matches. If true, the incident could lead to long-running consequences for competitive Dota 2 teams in all regions.

The cheating accusations are aimed at the players and staff of KNIGHTS, a Dota 2 team currently competing in the upper division of the China DPC league. A caster has released a statement saying that the players used an external program to alert themselves when they were in enemy vision, allowing for an unusually high number of dewards. If true, this incident could have major consequences for the future of the DPC.

The accusations were made in a video on Weibo, which according to an unofficial translation, details the kind of hacks used by the players. Chinese caster 杰出哥 explained that the players could tell when they were in the enemy team’s vision. His statement also includes that documents have been sent to Valve, showing that it is a formal accusation of cheating that could lead to major consequences.

This allowed Knights to deward a total of 43 observer wards in its upset victories over PSG.LGD and Invictus Gaming. That’s far from an impossible stat to achieve in four long games, but it included a 17-ward destroying spree in its first match against iG. Notably, the number of dewards slowly decreased over the course of those matches. The squad might have realized that its vision game would seem suspicious, though this more-realistic pattern is also a point toward Knights’ innocence.

What happens if Knights is found guilty of cheating in the DPC?

If Knights is found guilty of cheating in the DPC, it could have severe consequences for Dota 2 esports.

For the players, they will undoubtedly be banned from playing Dota 2 in any competitive setting for a very long time. A guilty verdict could end the careers of some well-known players, including Su “Flyby” Lei and Chong “FelixCiaoBa” Wei Lun. This could also have implications for the Dota 2 betting scene, though in-game fantasy players will likely not get their player cards refunded. Knights’ remaining tournament matches will likely be automatically forfeited.

As for Dota 2 as a whole, cheating has largely not been a problem at the competitive level of the game. Though match-fixing accusations are rarely thrown around, actual software hacks are basically unheard of. Valve could integrate stricter measures to ensure fair play, such as monitoring computers or sending overseers for teams. Such measures would likely be implemented across all regions, but players will need to know if Knights actually cheated or not to learn of Valve’s response.