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. The team had originally won the Bo3 series with a 2:1 result until the release of the information and the thorough and prompt investigation that followed. The Peruvians were also banned from further participation in any Dota 2 Canada Cup matches for the next 6 months. Fire will now advance to the semifinals to play versus Complexity, on February 27.
“Stream sniping” refers to when a player watches a live-stream of their own match to gain perspective, information and advantage on the enemy’s status/location or other strategic information. Although a broadcast typically bears a 2-5 minute delay, watching it might influence the course of the game and distort its final result.
The matter was brought to the attention of the tournament organizers shortly after the match ended. Organizers took swift action to review all of the evidence, including the team’s own 24/7 gaming house camera, EGHTV.
Union Gaming’s CEO, Alex Noriega Mendoza, attempted to refute the accusations. In a Facebook post, Mendoza claims that the allegations are false and harmful to the entire Dota 2 Latin community, adding that his players would not need to cheat in order to prove their abilities. Later, Union Gaming’s CEO had a change of heart and issued an apology:
We apologize to the Canada Cup organizers for breaking the rules. (…) If we lose the opportunity to play tournaments, we lose everything. Union Gaming asks the Dota 2 community to give us a second chance to show our best talents, to improve ourselves and make our fans happy.
This is not the first time Union Gaming was in hot water during a tournament. Earlier this year, in January, 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.
Union Gaming current roster:
Benjamin “Benjaz” Lanao Barrios
Leonardo “Leo Style” Sifuentes
Alexis “Greddy” Ventura
Jesus “Ztok” Carhuaricra
Santoval “Zende Rlz” Pedro Pinto