Seedy Side of Esports Still Plagues Dota 2
Dota 2 continues to struggle with shady practices in the esports industry.
A Chinese esports betting site called VPGame has been exposed for allegedly offering incentives to Southeast Asian Dota 2 teams in exchange for throwing games. This revelation comes from a report by AFK Gaming, an esports forum and news site based in India.
According to AFK Gaming, one of the affected teams provided evidence of this misconduct. They presented message logs between their manager and the admin of VPGame, who goes by the username “VPGame.Juntao.”
The admin’s strategy involved contacting a person named Oyster Lee in Southeast Asia. Lee was responsible for providing a list of tier-two Dota 2 teams that compete in small-scale cups and tournaments outside of the official Dota 2 Pro Circuit, such as the JoinDOTA League and the ProDotA Cup.
Once Lee had the list of teams, he reached out to them via social media channels and connected them with the VPGame admin on Skype.
The evidence suggests that the admin then added the team manager on Skype and immediately offered them a direct invitation to a tournament sponsored by VPGame. The catch? The team would have to agree to fix their matches. In the conversation, the admin suggested that the team purposely lose a few games or give up 10 kills to their opponents, which is a clear reference to betting markets created by bookmakers.
The team manager promptly refused the offer, and the screenshots of the conversation show no further dialogue. To authenticate the evidence, representatives from AFK Gaming posed as individuals interested in participating in match-fixing and contacted the admin on Skype. The admin redirected them to another person named “orenji,” who seems to be affiliated with VPGame.
Although orenji did not explicitly mention match-fixing, they provided an email address using the VPGame domain name and encouraged AFK Gaming to send a “proposal.” This strengthens AFK Gaming’s belief that both Juntao and orenji are connected to VPGame.
As of now, VPGame has not released an official statement regarding AFK Gaming’s report.
Keywords: Dota 2, esports, match-fixing, VPGame, AFK Gaming, Southeast Asian teams.