The Dota Pro Circuit 2021 season is just about to start, and issues keep on popping up.
Beyond the Summit has announced the disqualification of It’s Okay, a team led by former Alliance player Niclas “Niqua” Westergård, from the upcoming North American DPC League lower division. The move stems from one of the players, KKT, competing in the qualifiers to multiple Dota Pro Circuit leagues. KKT was the only player to do so, but the entire team was disqualified as a result.
Niqua acknowledged KKT’s wrongdoing in a post on Twitter.
“I’ll clarify here, we are disqualified from DPC because our [hard support] decided to either sell his account to a DPC-banned player or played both qualifiers himself…he also did all this behind our backs, no one knew anything about it before,” Niqua said.
one of our guys checked majors registration and saw his name registered to another team, when we found out about this we reported it to the admins, which I guess decided to punish the rest of us for the wrongdoing of one person. 2/2
— Niclas Westergård (@NiquaDota) January 15, 2021
Niqua also stated that the team itself actually brought the matter up to the tournament administrators. Despite this, the team received no leniency. According to Beyond the Summit’s David “Godz” Parker, the decision to remove It’s Okay from the league came from Valve and it is unclear if KKT may be facing a permaban from Valve:
No idea if he’s permabanned – if all he did was smurf in two regions I doubt he’d get perma-banned for something not that extreme?
But… sounds like the Team Assault stuff was something a bit more than just ‘smurfing’
— David Parker | Godz (@BTSGoDz) January 15, 2021
Godz noted that KKT, despite being registered as an American, was actually JoHnNy. JoHnNy was a member of the Team Assault squad that was removed from PGL’s Southeast Asia DPC League lower division.
PGL event coordinator BenQ acknowledged this in a response to Godz:
to clarify more , JohNny didn’t smurf in 2 regions , he just shared his account to china player to play at SEA Region, full team admitted that they shared all their accounts to chinese team and qualified to lower division.
— PGL_BenQ (@PGL_BenQ) January 15, 2021
Fan speculation suggested that Team Assault was actually Newbee playing on alternate accounts. Newbee’s ownership and its 2020 roster were banned from Valve events earlier this month due to previous allegations of match fixing. The team was accused of colluding with an opponent, Avengerls, during the qualifiers to the StarLadder Minor Season 3. Avengerls’ players were also banned just a few days after Newbee.
BenQ did not confirm whether these rumors were true, but did note that the lineup of Team Assault had shared their accounts with unspecified Chinese players.
Ultimately, JoHnNy will be left watching the Dota Pro Circuit from his couch, and that may become a permanent arrangement. Unfortunately for Niqua and the rest of It’s Okay, they’ll be joining him on the sidelines for the time being.