The reputation of competitive eSports took a hit over the weekend as accusations of match fixing and bribery surfaced during the Summit 2 League. Arrow Gaming were pulled into the affair after investigations reveal suspicious betting activity surrounding the team. Reports of the scandal began when screenshots of a conversation between Michael Vincent Vallejos and Jonathan Radores, two Filipino Dota 2 players, surfaced. In it, they had apparently discussed the outcome of the MSI-Mineski match during the Starladder 10 SEA qualifiers.
It was agreed that the MSI captain JyC would deliberately make a bad draft, and then mispick his hero. Further screenshots go on to show JyC asking for some 40,000 pesos to go along with the plan. It would seem that the two teams went along with the plan because the match in question no longer had any bearing on their chances of qualification, as both teams no longer had any chance of making the cut.
Team MSI and three members of Mineski have come forth and admitted their involvement in the match fixing, which covers three matches in the Starladder 10 league. All either players have resigned from their respective posts and posted an official apology.
Arrow Gaming were drawn into the matter when investigations revealed that Vallejos had placed a large number of bets on the team during the Synergy league. Both DDZ and Lance appear to have had their girlfriends place bets against the team as well. DDZ has come out to defend himself through a post on Reddit, claiming that he has no connection to Vallejos; and that it is normal for Lance’s girlfriend to bet against Arrow Gaming if she believes that the opposition has a better chance of winning. He posted screenshots purporting to show that people placed bets against Arrow for the game in question due to lag being experienced on his and Lance’s computers.
Synergy League conducted an investigation into the matter and have concluded that the evidence is misleading due to the time stamp on the conversations indicating that Lance only spoke of lag two hours after the match began. This has lead the Dota 2 tournament to issue a life ban to Arrow Gaming as an organisation as it believes that the management is involved in the effort to fake evidence in favour of Arrow.
The three other players – MoZun, xiangzai, and MaTteru – have not been implicated in the scandal and are not banned from Synergy League; although they will have to join a new team if they wish to continue playing. It is unknown if other tournaments will disallow Arrow Gaming from entering tournaments. However, the weekend’s scandal has cast competitive gaming in an extremely negative light; especially in the SEA region.