Fy at TI9, Somnus and Chalice at Epicenter


Azure Ray Addresses Bali Major 2023 Controversies: Watcher Bug & Pure’s Disqualification

Dhruv Saikia
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Azure Ray is a relatively new team from China with some legends from the region on the team, such as Lu "Somnus" Yao, Xu "fy" Linsen, and Yang "Chalice" Shenyi.
The team recently competed at the Bali Major 2023 and was embroiled in a few controversies at the event, including being accused of using the ‘watcher bug’ and seemingly forcing Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko’s disqualification.
In a recent post on Weibo, the team addressed the drama that occurred and provided their perspective on the issues.

Azure Ray is a renowned Dota 2 team boasting Chinese legends like Lu "Somnus" Yao, Xu "fy" Linsen, and Yang "Chalice" Shenyi along with two other talented players. The team recently found itself in controversies that occured during the Bali Major 2023.

Taking to their Weibo account, the team decided to address the incidents that occurred during the Bali Major 2023, including the watcher bug incident and the drama during their match against BetBoom, providing their perspectives on the matter.

The Nouns Incident: Azure Ray’s Perspective

Ahead of Azure Ray's match against nouns, a bug known as the "watcher bug" came to light, allowing players to exploit the ALT key or A-key to check for enemy wards. Azure Ray and many other teams apparently used this tactic during the Major. Nouns reported the bug to the tournament organizers, providing a recording of Chalice's point of view. Subsequently, Valve confirmed the existence of the bug and announced penalties for its usage from the next game onward. 

During Azure Ray's match against nouns, the organizers received a report claiming that Chalice and Jiang "天命" An had used the bug, which led to a tiebreaker situation. During the tiebreaker, the organizers called in Azure Ray's manager, announcing that the match would be considered 1-1, implying a default loss for the team. However, upon reviewing the evidence and appealing the decision, Azure Ray's manager demonstrated that the actions of Chalice and 天命 did not trigger the bug at all.

Despite this clarification, the organizers initially insisted on maintaining the penalty, arguing that the players' actions had no other purpose than exploiting the bug, even though they had a different intention—trolling the coach of nouns.

Moreover, the organizers suspected that the players were using quick attacks to facilitate the exploit. In response, Azure Ray's manager suggested checking the players' settings and observing them play in a casual game to see if any unusual behavior occurred. However, the organizers declined to perform these checks and also neglected to review whether other teams had used the same bug. In the end, after a lengthy 1.5-hour meeting, the organizers withdrew the penalty, attributing the decision to a misunderstanding.

The BetBoom Drama: Azure Ray’s Perspective

In another controversial moment at the Major, during the upper bracket series between BetBoom and Tundra Esports, one of BetBoom's players, Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko, was caught tabbing out to watch a stream, a clear violation of the rules. Surprisingly, the organizers made a late-night announcement stating that there would be no penalty for BetBoom and emphasized the ban on tabbing out to any software in future matches. The next day, to Azure Ray's surprise, the organizers changed the match schedule without prior notice, pitting the team against BetBoom instead of its originally scheduled opponent, Tundra Esports.

Azure Ray protested the sudden change, expressing the amount of preparation they had invested in studying Tundra Esports' strategies. Despite their pleas, the organizers insisted that according to the rulebook, BetBoom must be given an auto-loss for its actions.

However, Azure Ray pointed out chapter 5.2 of the rulebook, which mandated a ban for players caught cheating, which would be Pure in this case. When the organizers offered the option of banning Pure after the team's match against Azure Ray, the team rejected this proposal, demanding that the penalty be enforced immediately according to the rulebook.

During the ensuing communication with the organizers and BetBoom, Azure Ray's (AR) appeal was misrepresented as an ultimatum: "AR will only agree to play with BetBoom without Pure, otherwise they will abandon the game." This led to a perception that Azure Ray was shirking responsibility for the situation, making the team seem like the villain.

Azure Ray's recent Weibo post highlighted the challenges and controversies faced by professional Dota 2 teams during major tournaments. The update provided fans with some more context behind the situation, as many members of the community rushed to label Azure Ray as "villains" or "cowards" shortly after the incident occurred. After putting forward their perspective on the situation, the team will now focus on preparing for the upcoming TI12 qualifiers, where they will have to compete with other strong teams in order to secure the final slot for China at TI12.

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Since 2012, Dhruv has developed a deep passion for Dota 2, which has only grown stronger over time. With three years of experience as a competitive player and a background in writing, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to create content around the game and its esports scene.

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