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Dota 2 Match-Fixing Scandal Rocks Esports Scene

Dhruv Saikia
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Russian YouTuber and journalist Morf recently released a video alleging match-fixing by DPC teams in North America (NA) and Eastern Europe (EEU).
Morf supported these claims by providing screenshots and/or audio recordings that were obtained by Morf’s agent, who infiltrated the match-fixing group, mainly through Discord.

Popular Russian YouTuber and journalist recently shared a detailed exposé on match-fixing in Dota 2 Pro Circuit matches across the North American (NA) and Eastern European (EEU) regions. According to the video, Morf's ‘agent’  infiltrated the match-fixing group, obtaining information about Anton Monetin and a discord server called “The Red Book” where match-fixing was orchestrated. The admin of the discord server was Anton Monetin and he is allegedly behind the elaborate match-fixing scandal.

Dota 2 match-fixing scandal: Ex-Winstrike Academy coach accused of orchestrating scheme

According to Morph, the match-fixing was orchestrated by ex-Winstrike Academy coach Anton Monetin. Morf’s agent infiltrated a closed discord server called The Red Book and spoke to Anton, who offered him bets on specific fixed matches that would guarantee him returns and split the winnings.

Initially, Morf's investigator worked with Anton as a bettor, with Anton providing both money and insider knowledge of fixed matches for the agent to bet on. Anton instructed the agent to give back the money upon a successful bet, while also allowing the agent to place their own bets with a 50% cut of the profits.

As per Morph's account, Anton tasked the agent with placing an initial bet on the EEU DPC 2023 Tour 1 Open Qualifier match between HOTU and beatifull. Although Anton correctly predicted the outcome of the first bet, the second bet did not go as planned. Anton attributed his loss to a conspiracy involving HOTU and a rival match-fixing group, with both teams deliberately trying to lose the game.

Following this, Anton made a prediction for the NOSTRVM vs KZ Team match in another DPC qualifier, which KZ team lost 2-0. Anton stated that his group had bet over 1.6 million on this match, but he did not specify the currency used for the bet.

After a few more of these exercises, Morf’s agent was able to bet on higher-tier matches, which included DPC matches. This included Dawn Gaming vs IG in the China DPC 2023 (Dawn Gaming has since been banned by Valve for match-fixing)

Match-Fixing in the NA DPC - Thiuth Gaming 

Morf stated that several teams participating in the North America (NA) Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Tour 1: Division I were involved in rigged matches, as per his account. Specifically, two games were cited: Shopify Rebellion vs Thiuth Gaming and TSM vs Wildcard Gaming. Allegedly, the underdogs in these matches (Thiuth Gaming and Wildcard Gaming) manipulated the results and total scores of the games for the purpose of betting. However, Morf expressed uncertainty regarding which players were aware of the match-fixing scheme.

It was also alleged that Thiuth Gaming purchased their slot in the NA DPC 2023 Tour 1 with the sole intention of fixing matches and winning bets. The allegations claimed that all players and side bettors associated with Thiuth Gaming contributed a considerable amount of money towards buying the Division I slot and orchestrating the match-fixing scheme. The team was also said to have had a "fake" manager, with Anton and his group operating under the manager's name to manipulate the outcomes of the matches.

Initially, Thiuth Gaming performed well in the early stages of the NA DPC Tour 1, leading to increased odds for the team in betting sites. However, their success declined following claims of "internal conflict."

According to Morph, Anton observed these developments and recognized the opportunity to profit from the team. Allegedly, Anton and his group became more reckless and let their greed dictate their actions, placing bets worth millions on Thiuth. However, this turned out to be an ill-fated gamble, as the odds dropped dramatically due to the massive bets, prompting bookmakers to freeze the payments owing to "suspicious activity."

In addition, Wildcard Gaming was implicated in the match-fixing exposé. However, as per the allegations, most of the team members who participated in the scheme have since departed from the roster. Therefore, the current team members, including Yawar "YawaR" Hassan, are not linked to the scandal in any manner. One of the players banned by Valve for account sharing was Bauyrzhan "lilskrip" Bisembaev, who was supposedly Anton's partner and was involved in the entire match-fixing operation.

Eastern Europe matchfixing - DM from OG involved? 

As part of the investigation, Morf divulged Anton's recruitment of Albert "alberkaaa" Chernoivanov, a Russian Dota 2 player who previously played for VP.Prodigy and AS Monaco Gambit, and is currently playing for cybercats. It was alleged that Anton orchestrated a meeting between the player and a female acquaintance, with the expectation that they would establish a relationship. Allegedly, the plan was to leverage this connection to easily recruit the player into participating in match-fixing activities.

According to allegations, Anton was able to communicate with Dmitry "DM" Dorokhin, the current offlane player for OG, through alberkaaa. It was claimed that DM had a conflict with Layme from Thiuth Gaming and threatened to expose the team and player’s illicit match-fixing activities if Anton and his group do not make Layme “shut up."Morf added that he was not surprised that DM was aware of these activities, given his involvement in dubious practices such as account trading not too long ago. Furthermore, DM's partner in these account trading activities was Yegor ".Ark" Zhabotinskii, who was allegedly one of the players involved in the match-fixing scandal while he was a member of Wildcard Gaming.

As per Morf's video, his agent reported being instructed to place several bets on Hydra and identified Siarhei "HappyDyurara" Kharonzhy and Anatoly “Lefitan” Krupnov as the involved players in the scandal.

Lefitan was recently accused of cheating in the EEU DPC 2023.

Anton Monetin addresses the allegations

As first reported by escorenews, Anton Monetin who was accused by Morf to be the center of the match-fixing scandal appeared on a stream of another content creator and provided more information and insights into the accusations. Rather than denying them, Anton provided more information on other various schemes which were not covered by Morf. However, he denied that he had set up alberkaaa with a female acquaintance to recruit him. 

In the stream, Anton claimed that no ‘agent’ had infiltrated his group to gather information. Rather, it was just one of his rogue workers that leaked all the information due to a disagreement over some money. He also claimed that the percentage of money that was received by the players and match-fixers depended on various factors, such as the division in which they are playing at. Anton goes on to claim that he wants to eventually transition into a position where he can work for the ‘good guys’ and fight off match-fixing.

Although Anton appears to have admitted to a number of the allegations leveled against him, it's important to bear in mind that given the numerous accusations against him, he may not be a trustworthy narrator.

The drama that was initially revealed by Morf sheds some light on the various illicit activities that are occurring in the Dota 2 professional circle, and in the DPC circuit. While gambling on Dota 2 matches was never illegal, match-fixing is an area that is considered to be a serious offense in Dota 2 and warrants lifetime bans from future events. 

Morf's accusations involve multiple organizations and players from different regions, which may have serious consequences for some players' careers if proven true.

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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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