Series in Chinese qualifiers for StarLadder ImbaTV Minor under suspicion of match-fixing

Another scandal might be afoot.

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There’s a reason why 322 remains the universal number for throwing in Dota 2: Alexey “Solo” Berezin’s scandalous story and equally impressive comeback remains one of the most compelling stories in the scene. It looks like the problem hasn’t truly left the esport, however.

The latest series in question was the first round of the upper bracket of the in Chinese qualifiers for the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor between Avengerls and Newbee. Avengerls won the first match of the series and was on track to win the second game after accruing a big lead.

While comebacks aren’t uncommon in Dota 2, the dubious way in which Avengerls lost their lead wasn’t lost on viewers, including one of China’s veteran streamers, Zhang “xiao8” Ning.

Green is Avengerls on the Radiant side, red is Newbee on the dire side. | Screengrab via Dotabuff

Xiao8, nicknamed Director 8 for his superb grasp as captain while he was still active, is a veteran player and coach in the Chinese Dota 2 scene most famous for his The International 4 win with Newbee. Now the coach of EHOME, xiao8 was streaming and commentating on the game where he brought up his suspicions about Avengerls repeatedly.

Despite Avengerl’s huge mid-game advantage with a powerful late-game roster, xiao8 commented that the team didn’t use any Smoke of Deceits to further lock down their lead.

The coach pointed out Avengerl’s Morphling player as particularly suspicious. He commented on Morphling’s refusal to use his skills to escape ganks, resulting in him dying unnecessarily to Newbee.

In response to the chat saying that the Morphling just might be playing badly, xiao8 said that it likely wasn’t in a slightly exasperated tone and didn’t continue to elaborate during the game.

Afterward, xiao8 downloaded the replay to confirm his suspicions. Once again, he zoomed in on Morphling’s egregious misplays, mentioning that it was far beyond just playing badly. He pointed out multiple situations where the Morphling had more than enough time and indication to escape the situation, such as having his Linken’s popped with Waveform on cooldown, but continued to move around and do nothing about the situation.

As he ended the play, xiao8 confirmed that he believed the match was thrown by Avengerls. He further challenged his audience to report the game to the relevant authorities and if the investigation turned up nothing, he said he’d stream himself eating feces.