The International 2023 (TI12) Playoffs - Match-Fixing during TI12 qualifiers


Chinese Teams Alleged of Match-Fixing During TI12 Qualifiers

Dorjee Palzang
Updated On: 
Allegations of match-fixing have emerged from the heart of the Chinese Dota 2 scene once again.
This time, it involves Holy Grail and it's run during The International 2023 China Qualifer.

In a startling revelation, allegations of match-fixing have emerged from the heart of the Chinese Dota 2 scene, implicating team Holy Grail during The International 2023 (TI12) China Qualifier. Renowned Bilibili content creator Jie Chu Ge, previously instrumental in exposing the misconduct of Knights, released a video containing damning evidence against Holy Grail, along with possible involvement by Team Bright and Team Disillusion (now Dark Horse).

Evidence Suggests Match-Fixing, Foul Play at TI12 Qualifiers

The evidence presented by Jie Chu Ge included recorded voice communications of Holy Grail players during the TI12 China Qualifier, shedding light on their alleged involvement in match-fixing. The recordings revealed discussions among Holy Grail players regarding specific in-game actions, such as deliberately losing at the 35th minute mark, and the distribution of betting payouts among team members and management.

Jie Chu Ge's video meticulously dissected instances during the TI12 qualifier matches, casting a shadow of doubt over the legitimacy of Holy Grail's gameplay. Notably, at the 36-minute mark of the video, Holy Grail, despite enjoying a substantial 12K gold advantage, made a questionable decision to contest Roshan instead of pushing the high ground with the creeps. This led to Holy Grail throwing away its lead and ultimately losing. These seemingly irrational moves, among other revelations in the video, have intensified suspicions and prompted a deeper investigation into the actions of all three implicated teams.

Notably, the recordings also suggested that threats were allegedly made against Jie Chu Ge, should the match-fixing activities be exposed. Holy Grail's players discussed retaliatory actions and even threatened the content creator's life in case their illicit activities came to light.

Team Bright and Team Disillusion (now Dark Horse) are also implicated in the scandal, with indications of potential collaboration to manipulate matches for betting purposes. Jie Chu Ge, determined to bring transparency to the situation, has reported these findings to Perfect World, ESL, and Valve, triggering investigations into the matter.

Match-fixing allegations and instances have been on the rise for quite a few years now in the Chinese Dota 2 landscape. Notably, in 2020, TI4 champion, Newbee and its roster, was blacklisted from Chinese Dota 2 competitions by (CDA, ImbaTV, and MarsTV) for alleged match-fixing in multiple tournaments. 

Likewise, during the Lima Major 2023, the Chinese Dota 2 team Knights was accused of match-fixing and this was not the first time. After Knights' series against Geek Slate and Entity in the Major had quite peculiar odds, social media was rife with discussions regarding the alleged match-fixing. 

As a result of such violations, in March 2023, Chinese Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) organizer Perfect World announced the removal of five Dota 2 teams from the DPC China 2023 Tour 2: Division I and II. The teams that were removed from the DPC featured pros who were already banned from Valve tournaments due to "esports integrity violations." The teams that were removed include Antarctic Penguins (formerly Knights), EHOME, Solitude (formerly Dawn Gaming), Kylin Esports Club (formerly LBZS), and Team Mystique. 

Match-fixing remains a critical issue in Dota 2 esports, and the community awaits the outcomes of the investigations by tournament organizers and game developers. The integrity of competitive gaming is paramount, and swift and decisive actions are essential to maintain the trust of players and fans alike.

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Dorjee is an avid Dota enthusiast, he has been playing the game since it was just a map in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne back in 2009, he transitioned to Dota 2 in 2014 and can't stop playing ever since!

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