A Dota 2 may have been caught cheating red-handed.
On Wednesday in the DreamLeague Season 15 lower division, an official Dota Pro Circuit league, Chicken Fighters faced off against Ghost frogs. During the match, a Reddit user spotted Chicken Fighters support player Andreas Per “Xibbe” Ragnemalm in the official broadcast’s Twitch chat.
There’s little question that this player is the real Xibbe. The Twitch account in question links out to his verified Twitter account, meaning the odds are close to zero that this was an imposter or someone with a coincidentally similar name.
During the game in question, Xibbe personally destroyed 12 wards with his team destroying a total of 16 to Ghost frogs’ 13. Despite this, Chicken Fighters suffered a sweeping 2-0 defeat at the hands of Ghost frogs.
After a 70(!) minute long game 2, Ghost Frogs takes the series 2-0 vs @ChfDota2! 🥵
— DreamHack Dota (@DreamHackDota) May 5, 2021
Stream sniping is where players competing in a multiplayer game watch a broadcast of the game to obtain information on their opponents. This can be done in either a casual or professional setting, with its exact uses varying depending on the game.
Stream sniping is particularly powerful in Dota 2 as players can gain a wealth of information. The most common purpose is ward placement, something that has seen streamers routinely use a fake minimap to hide their wards. Not only that, but players can also get information on their opponents’ item builds, buyback status, and more.
This can be offset to some degree by creating an extended broadcast delay, but doing so also disincentivizes fans from watching the Twitch broadcast if they can instead watch live through the Dota 2 client.
It is unclear how long Xibbe watched the broadcast and there is no way to determine whether he was actually stream sniping or if he just happened to have the window open while playing the game. Stream sniping is illegal in almost every notable esports competition.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has endured multiple stream sniping controversies over the last 18 months. The most notable example was Team Vitality being fined when player cams visibly showed a broadcast of the team’s ongoing match in the background.
Neither Xibbe nor DreamHack have commented on the matter as of this writing.