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Did PGL ignore match fixing for the SEA TI 2024 qualifier?

Kunkka

Dota 2 fans are begging Valve to get involved after accusing PGL of letting match fixing teams play in the qualifiers for TI 2024.

The qualifiers for The International 2024 are in full swing, with icons across the world achieving great success or suffering agonizing defeat. It’s a great time to be a Dota 2 esports fan, but not all is well among the viewer base. Fans are accusing PGL of willfully ignoring “blatant match fixing” in the Southeast Asian closed qualifiers for TI 2024. While none of the teams have been officially convicted by Valve, their presence is causing a stir with many fans blaming PGL.

Are fans correct in blaming the organizer? Or is the issue more complicated than fans may think?

The SEA TI 2024 qualifiers match fixing allegations explained

The four Dota 2 teams at the SEA TI 2024 qualifier previously accused of match fixing are as follows.

  • MANTA Esports
  • Neon Esports
  • Salvation Gaming
  • Yangan Galacticos

The allegations against each team are distinct from each other, but the initial accuser claims they are “throwing wins against each other in no name leagues.” For MANTA Esports,

For Neon Esports, fans point to Golden Age early in 2023. At Golden Age, Neon dropped consecutive series to Myth Avenue Gaming despite being a heavily favored team. Mid laner Argle “Ken” Llesis is the only common player between the team accused of match fixing and the current Neon lineup competing at the SEA TI 2024 qualifiers.

Neon Esports accused of match fixing before TI 2024 SEA qualifers

The Salvation Gaming callout is substantiated by other fan investigations. The accuser cites strange betting patterns for Minotaur League, a smaller tournament that took place in April and May 2024. Those allegations theorize that a mysterious bettor named hans_j is the benefactor of the fix for placing last-minute bets in the form of Dota 2 items and Counter-Strike 2 skins. The original accuser also points out similar scorelines for the favorites in the group stage.

The accusation includes no cited evidence against MANTA Esports or Yangon Galacticos.

The common thread through all these accusations is a lack of confirmation. Neither PGL nor Valve have publicly investigated these matches, and all four teams are approved to play in official events. Even if they are guilty, tournament organizers will have to prove that is the case before they can kick them out of tournaments. The counterargument is that the closed qualifier is an invite-only event, so PGL could have erred on the side of caution and not invited them. However, the teams’ placements are worthy of a spot at the TI 2024 qualifiers, so snubbing them would be an unfair acceptance of match fixing accusations without an investigation.

Regardless of match fixing allegations, the TI 2024 qualifiers for Southeast Asia will kick off on June 19.

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