Match fixing in Dota 2 was already known to be a big problem, but it might be even more serious than initially expected.
Chinese streaming site Huomao announced it had fired a member of its Dota 2 branch for attempted match fixing. The individual allegedly reached out to forZe regarding an upcoming event.
“On February 19, 2020, HuomaoTV was told that one of our Dota 2 team staff, Haotian Xu, had contacted Team forZe suggesting match fixing in a Dota online tournament, EGB.com Arena of Blood,” HuomaoTV said in a statement on Twitter. “HuomaoTV conducted verification immediately and this employee had admitted the fact of him doing it by taking advantage of his role in HuomaoTV. HuomaoTV has fired Haotian Xu and reserves the right to pursue the matter due to the bad influence on the company’s brand.”
EGB.com Arena of Blood is an upcoming tournament organized by the U Can Company, which has operated a number of notable online Dota 2 tournaments. forZe has not yet been revealed as one of the teams taking part in the event, but current invitees include B8, OG Seed, and Aggressive Mode.
It is unclear how HuomaoTV discovered the attempted match fixing and how advanced the discussions were with the former employee.
Match fixing has been a regular problem throughout esports’ entire history, with every region and every title having issues with it at some point. Though Dota 2 hasn’t been hit with a particularly high-profile case of this, a slew of regional events have seen matches allegedly fixed.
The most recent case came last week in the qualifiers to the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3. A map between Newbee and Avengerls saw Avengerls make a series of egregious misplays, leading to widespread speculation they had thrown the game intentionally. Though Valve took no action on this front, Dota 2 legends Zhang “xiao8” Ning and Chen “Zhou” Yao minced no words on the matter.
It is unclear what will happen from here for HuomaoTV, forZe, or EGB.com Arena of Blood. Either way, don’t expect these stories to stop any time soon.