ESFI suspended Moin "NO_Chanc3" Ejaz for alleged unsportsmanlike conduct and false, defamatory statements


AFK Gaming

ESFI Suspends Commonwealth Bronze Medal-Winning Dota 2 Captain NO_Chanc3

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
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ESFI suspended Moin "NO_Chanc3" Ejaz for alleged unsportsmanlike conduct and false, defamatory statements.
ESFI reportedly sent Ejaz a show cause notice on 27th October and later considered his response to the notice as unsatisfactory.

The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) has suspended Moin "NO_Chanc3" Ejaz, captain of India's Commonwealth Bronze Medal-winning Dota 2 team, for alleged unsportsmanlike conduct and false, defamatory statements against the federation. Ejaz was served a show cause notice by ESFI, which he responded to within a week, but his response was considered unsatisfactory.

AFK Gaming accessed ESFI’s show cause notice, NO_Chanc3’s reply, and the subsequent suspension letter he was sent. In the suspension order, ESFI stated, “Regardless of multiple attempts at reconciliation, you have continued to take an aggressive and unjust stance in public against ESFI and continue to mislead the public about the inner workings of ESFI by making untrue claims, thereby maligning its name in public.

NO_Chanc3 suspended for one year by the ESFI

In its suspension order dated 21st December 2022, the ESFI has noted that Ejaz will stand suspended from all further ESFI activities for one year effective immediately as per the National Esports Championship (NESC) rules. It has disbarred him from registering and/or participating in activities or events of the federation “including and not limited to national/international championships or tournaments and from participating in any tournaments/events/championships” it organizes. 

NO_Chance, in his reply to the show cause notice, stated that all his statements are true and have been supported by evidence, while all the allegations leveled by the ESFI in its notice were “baseless and have no legs to stand.

He further called upon the ESFI to share the approvals from the Government of India, which allowed and gave the right to ESFI to choose the Indian team for the esports events to be conducted in the  Asian Games in 2023. “From the information available on the public forum, it is clear that ESFI has not been recognized by the Government of India as the official body for Esports in India. It seems that ESFI is a self-styled esports body for India and is completely misleading players at large,” he challenged.  

NO_Chanc3 further stated that the ESFI’s show cause notice was baseless and meritless and that it was vindictive in nature, specifically targeting him for exposing “ESFI’s illegal acts.

Team Whoops, NO_Chanc3 and ESFI lock horns in 2022 

The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) and the medal-winning Dota 2 team, Team Whoops, and its captain NO_Chanc3 were at loggerheads over multiple instances throughout last year. Moin Ejaz, Krish, Abhishek, Ketan, Darshan and Shubham were originally selected for the Asian Games 2022. However, after the postponement of the event, Moin Ejaz (captain), Ketan Goyal, Abhishek Yadav, Shubhnam Goli, and Vishal Vernekar participated in the Commonwealth Esports Championship (CEC) in 2022 and won the bronze medal at the event.

Following this, Ejaz leveled multiple allegations against ESFI. He stated that ESFI was forcing the team to stick with the same medal-winning roster through multiple international events to prepare for the Asian Games. Ejaz also claimed that the federation asked the team to forfeit the regional qualifier for the Commonwealth Games 2022 due to a lack of funds and that it agreed to go forward only when the players said they could find sponsors on their own. 

Note that the ESFI has refuted the various allegations leveled by Ejaz, including those concerning roster changes and sponsorship woes, through two publicly available official statements dated 31 August 2022 and 03 September 2022.

Team Whoops and the ESFI also had issues during the Global Esports Games and its regional qualifiers. According to him, the team was given only a few hours notice to confirm its participation, the federation communicated only via emails without any other reminders, and the team was not given enough time to prepare the documents needed to submit to the Global Esports Federation.

What did ESFI’s show cause notice say?

The Esports Federation of India sent a notice to Ejaz on October 27th, accusing him of unsportsmanlike conduct and making “false and defamatory statements” against the federation on social media.

The ESFI outlined how it intended to send a team comprising of the best Indian players for the Asian Games in 2022 and recalled how the event was postponed to 2023. It added that it organized the National Open Qualifiers in April 2022 for the Asian Games 2022 and selected Team Whoops (consisting of five main players, Krish “Moon” Gupta, Abhishek “Abh1” Yadav, Ketan “Evil-Ash” Goyal, Moin “NO_Chanc3” Ejaz, Shubham “madness” Goli, and Darshan “A35” Bata, the substitute player) to play Dota 2. 

After the postponement of the Asian Games, the ESFI noted that it prepared a list of global esports tournaments that Team Whoops could participate in to gain exposure and hone skills. Following this, Team Whoops was given the opportunity to participate in the Commonwealth Esports Championship (CEC) in August 2022 in Birmingham, England, where it clinched the bronze medal. 

The federation noted that in June 2022, the team requested a roster change for the CEC, requesting that Krish “Moon” Gupta be replaced with Vishal “HBK” Vernekar and that it accepted the change even though it was not as per the NESC rules.

Further, it noted that NO_Chanc3 agreed to participate in the 14th World Esports Championship (WEC) with the same team including Vishal. Following this, Team Whoops traveled to the United Kingdom for the CEC and the ESFI noted that it covered the costs of air tickets and local travel, boarding, lodging, and meals for the entire Team Whoops. “Additionally, we ensured that the visas for the whole Team Whoops and the passport for Mr. Ketan Goel were fast-tracked and approved within 7 days, which usually takes up to 2 months.” 

ESFI added that it even reimbursed Team Whoops’ insurance and visa fees in good conscience though they were not a part of its expenses. The ESFI claimed in its show cause notice that it had agreed to such reimbursement on 22nd August 2022, when it asked the players to submit the relevant invoices. ESFI also stated that the money was deposited to the players’ bank account by 29th September 2022 after they submitted bank account details on 21st September 2022. However, Moin made a public statement on 31st August that addressed sponsorship woes and travel costs. Additionally, on 9th September, Moin claimed that ESFI agreed to reimburse their visa and insurance fees after the team had already won the bronze medal. “[I] am 100% sure that they wouldn't have reimbursed us had we not won a medal,” he had claimed. The ESFI added that it was once again intimated about another roster change on 29th August 2022 and was informed that Krish Nitin Gupta, Darshan Bata, and Vishal Vernekar were not in a position to play for the upcoming 14th WEC. The ESFI alleged that Ejaz refused to participate in the event if his request was not considered and that it denied his request anyway.

It noted that it reached out to the next best Dota 2 team as per the National Open Qualifiers standings and asked the team to remain on standby given that Team Whoops was incomplete. ESFI further added that it received an email and a few WhatsApp messages from Shubham Goli on 26th August 2022 where he allegedly claimed that he and other members of Team Whoops “were being bullied and strongarmed into quitting.” 

An email attached to the show cause notice sent to NO_Chanc3 shows Goli complaining about the team’s decision to remove him from the roster, and suggesting cronyism by the rest of the team to replace him with their friends. This could have been the bullying allegation that ESFI referred to in its show cause notice. Goli had also requested ESFI to host an Open Qualifier to allow him and other Indian Dota 2 players to compete for a spot in international tournaments such as the Asian Games 2022.

ESFI stated that it has always followed protocols and acted in accordance with the mandates and denied the allegations made by Moin Ejaz and claimed that he took to social media with the intent to defame and disparage the federation, causing irreparable harm to its reputation. ESFI also claimed that it had reached out to Ejaz to discuss his grievances in a meeting, but he did not show up for it.

NO_Chanc3 has always strived to represent India in Dota 2 esports internationally and achieve success. He is one of the best Dota 2 players in the country and was the first Indian player to reach 7000 MMR. As a veteran esports player, he has competed in various international tournaments including the Asia Pacific Predator League 2022, multiple World Electronic Sports Games tournaments, World Cyber Games 2019 APAC Finals, PVP Esports Championship, and more.

Most notably, Team Whoops! which represented India in the Commonwealth Esports Championship 2022 was the only Indian team to bag a medal at the event. Led by NO_Chanc3, the Dota 2 team beat New Zealand 2-0 in a best-of-three series in the bronze medal playoff.  

In conversation with AFK Gaming, Moin "NO_Chanc3" Ejaz revealed his disappointment with this decision. He said, “I was the one who put this team together for the Asian Games and we won the Indian qualifier. I raised the issue against ESFI about its unprofessionalism during the Commonwealth Games but instead of working on its mistake, it decided to ban me on baseless accusations.” 

NO_Chanc3 also added that he was reconsidering his future in the industry, “I was very motivated to do something in esports, especially for my country, but all the drama with ESFI, the restrictions, and ego issues have made me lose all hope in the esports scene.” He expressed his intent to play for an overseas team if given the opportunity but noted that he will continue playing casually and focus on something else to get into.

In December 2022, the Indian government officially recognized esports as a part of multi-sports events. President Droupadi Murmu amended the rules and ordered India’s Department of Sports, which falls under the ambit of India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, to act as the nodal agency for esports in India.

With the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports governing esports, it is yet to officially recognize ESFI as the esports entity that will choose Indian teams for international events like CWC and Asian Games. Given this, it is unclear how ESFI’s decision to suspend Ejaz will hold up. 

AFK Gaming has reached out to ESFI for its statement on NO_Chanc3’s suspension. The article will be updated if and when the federation responds.

Update: ESFI issued the following statement to AFK Gaming, following NO_CHANC3's suspension.

"Regardless of fully explaining that federation cannot approve his wrongful desire of roster change with a unregistered player (a player who has not even participated in the qualifier), the federation's perspective, process & regulations to Moin and giving him ample opportunity to justify his behaviour and actions, which he failed to do so in a satisfactory manner; Moin continues to heavily misinterpret, take an aggressive and unjust stance in public against ESFI and continues to mislead the public by making untrue claims, thereby maligning the federation’s Name in public.

ESFI has always been open to dialogue and constructive criticism; but such kind of un-sportsman like behaviour shall never be encouraged, tolerated and/or endorsed.

ESFI’s multiple attempts had failed, hence, in line with the rules and regulations, the federation was forced to suspend Moin Ejaz from all ESFI related activities and events for a period of 1 (one) year, starting 24th Dec 2022.

However, we are open to dialogue with him, should he wish to respond to us and our communications."

Note: Please note that this article originally carried certain factually inaccurate statements, which were brought to our notice by our readers, and have since been corrected. AFK always strives to present content with the highest journalistic standards. We encourage our readers to reach out to us in the rare instances of inaccurate reporting, and we welcome all feedback.

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Sadakshi has been a gamer throughout her life and has followed League of Legends since Season 3, immediately falling in love with the esports scene. Bringing in her print journalism experience, she focuses on content that is both informative and innovative. While her heart still remains with League, her love for competition has pushed her to explore other titles such as Valorant and Apex Legends.

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