The International 7 has come to an end, and Valve is preparing to introduce their new tournament system. Over the next 10 months, 22 events will take place, allowing teams from around the world to qualify for The International 8 by earning Circuit Points.
While the prospect of 22 events is exciting, Valve has not addressed the issue of multiple teams from the same organization competing in these events.
With Circuit Points being the only way to secure an invitation to The International 8, organizations with multiple teams have a unique opportunity to earn points for each roster. However, this can potentially be exploited.
A few years ago, some major esports organizations in Dota 2 had two teams competing simultaneously without any concerns. However, this became problematic when these teams entered the same events.
One example of the potential issue arose at The International 4. Reigning champions Alliance faced elimination in the group stage and had to play against Evil Geniuses, who shared the same ownership under the Good Game Agency. If Evil Geniuses lost, they would still qualify for the main event, but if Alliance lost, they would be eliminated. The possibility of collusion between the two teams for their owner’s benefit was a cause for concern.
This situation raises questions about the fairness of games and betting outcomes when both teams have a vested interest in a particular result.
Although the practice of supporting sister teams has declined in the West, it is still prevalent in China, where most established esports organizations have multiple rosters competing in qualifiers for major events.
The main issue here is not that all organizations will act unethically, but rather the potential for conflicts of interest exists. Measures need to be implemented to prevent situations like the one between Evil Geniuses and Alliance at The International 4.
For example, at the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Valve Major in Kraków, teams from the same organization were not allowed to use the same brand name. In order to comply with this rule, Swedish team Fnatic loaned their academy roster to another organization. ESL, which will be hosting several Dota 2 tournaments, has also prohibited organizations from fielding multiple teams in their CS:GO events to prevent conflicts of interest. Similar measures should be taken for Dota 2 competitions to avoid any scandals.
Keywords: The International 8, tournament system, Circuit Points, multiple teams, organizations, exploit, esports, Dota 2, conflict of interest, collusion, fairness, China, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, ESL, Valve Major, Fnatic