The ProDota Cup Americas was immersed in scandal during the third place decider series between Ewolves and Infamous, Sunday night. Both teams were under the suspicion of match-fixing, as Infamous swept through Ewolves, 2:0, in an overwhelmingly one-sided series.
The scandal erupted after Infamous, the underdogs of the series, convincingly and easily grabbed the series from the heavily favored Ewolves. Despite Ewolves’ performance in the cup not being as strong as in previous tournaments, the loss grabbed the attention of casters and viewers when the odds and betting practices took an abnormal, suspicious swing. Game play had also looked suspect during the match.
Infamous won the series in a decisive sweep, 2:0, along with the $500 prize-pool award.
The scandal unfolding
After the series was concluded and the organization owner was made aware, Sam “sammy” Manuelson called a conference with the teams’ managers and players to discuss the match-fixing allegations.
Manuelson told DotaBlast that Jesus “Ztok” Carhuaricra had immediately left the conference. According to Manuelson, the manager of Infamous, Vitoria “Guashineen” Otero, confirmed that Ztok had suggested to a friend to make a bet on the team. Otero refused to cooperate further.
In conjunction with betting site organizers to investigate the matter, Manuelson was able to confirm that the first 10 kills of the series were fixed, based on betting patterns and odds. It was also evident that one account made more than $5,000 off multiple bets placed on this series and multiple other accounts placed suspicious bets on both VPGame and Dota2Top.
According to Manuelson, there has also been proof of Ztok suggesting to a friend to place a 100% secure bet on his team. Ztok would have allegedly received a percentage of the winnings.
Manuelson has confirmed to DotaBlast that he will withhold the third place award of $500 from Infamous and both teams will be banned from the next season.
It’s difficult to determine the people who were involved exactly and to what extent they were involved, but it is very clear that there was some type of match-fixing there. Both teams will be banned from next season and the prize money will be withheld from Infamous. These tournaments are designed to give newer and lower tier 1 – tier 2 teams a chance to compete in a friendly and constructive environment, and to give them opportunities for exposure. This can’t be tolerated or accepted.
-Sam “sammy” Manuelson, ProDota Cup owner/organizer
Dota 2 Match-fixing/Cheating scandal history
This is not the first time that Jesus “Ztok” Carhuaricra and Alexis “Greddy” Ventura have been involved in a cheating scandal.
One year ago, in February 2015, The Peruvian Dota 2 team Union Gaming was disqualified from the Dota 2 Canada Cup Season 4 for “stream sniping”, during the quarterfinals match versus Fire. Ztok was on the roster at that time.
That was, however, not the first time the Union Gaming roster was in hot water during a tournament. Earlier in the year, the Peruvians unpaused without the opponents’ permission and were able to draw first blood from their action during the grand finals of Dota Regions Season 2. The tournament’s administrators cut 25% off their prize earnings and banned them from future participation in their competitions.
During the Shanghai Major SEA regional qualifiers, MineskiX and Execration found themselves in a tight spot. Match-fixing scandals from at least one year ago had resurfaced and both teams were informed they each needed to replace one of their players to keep their spots in the Shanghai Major SEA Regional Qualifiers.
Included players caught up in the list from Valve were Mark Anthony “Jacko” Soriano – on MineskiX, and Mark “Byb” Gavin – on direct regional invite team, Execration. Jacko and Byb were both involved in a match-fixing scandal in November 2014, when eight players admitted to betting against their teams in select matches and throwing in exchange for Dota 2 items. 16 year-old Mark Anthony “Jacko” Soriano was given a nine-month ban because of his age.
In March 2015, the SouthEast Asian Dota 2 Team Redemption was banned from all future events hosted by Valve, including The International. In October 2014, the team, then named Arrow Gaming, was involved in a match-fixing scandal, which included players, their girlfriends, the organization, false statements and bribes.
Alexey “Solo” Berezin, playing for RoxKiss at the time, admitted to his part in a match-fixing incident in 2013 when he bet against his own team winning $322. Solo received a lifetime ban from StarLadder, which was later reduced to one year.