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Image via PGL | Remixed by Cale Michael

Young NA Dota 2 squad finds itself in matchfixing scandal that actually might not exist

Good jokes mate, real funny, see you at open qualifiers.

American Goons, a promising Dota 2 team from North America, made it to division two of Dota Pro Circuit on May 25 after battling through the Open Qualifiers. However, those division two dreams were cut short as PGL, the DPC organizer, disqualified the Goons roster, citing suspected involvement in bets and match-fixing.

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Goons were immediately removed from the second division and replaced by another NA Dota roster, GateKept, who had finished third in the closed qualifiers.

Goons members didn’t make any official comments regarding PGL’s decisions. Still, rumors surrounding the situation immediately started to surface on Reddit.

Goons were disqualified from the second division due to a “jokey” screenshot featuring a message from Jose “esK” Coronel, according to NA Dota fans. In the screenshot in question, Kobey “Napkin” Eimers supposedly asks esK whether Goons threw games in the upper bracket of the qualifiers, to which esK replied with “ye.”

This screenshot was allegedly sent to PGL organizers by Napkin, and the organizer decided to remove Goons, stating “they literally admitted to it.”

Despite an official clarification, notable figures within the NA Dota 2 community, like TI-winner Peter “ppd” Dager and Samuel “Sammyboy” Anderson, came to Goons’ defense.

Both ppd and Sammyboy expressed their disbelief, calling the decision “uninformed.” Ppd even shared the screenshot in question that was PGL’s “main proof” against Goons.

PGL admin Aneko Merkki looks to be in the center of this scandal, according to another community comment. In late April, Merkko was criticized by two-time TI winner Sébastien “Ceb” Debs, after the organizer disqualified Old G from their tiebreaker match since it was taking place at the same time as the Berlin Major.

Related: Ceb blasts PGL admins after Old G’s ‘forced’ DPC elimination

At the time of writing, PGL hasn’t made a second comment regarding the matter, but with the community pressure building up, the organizer might release a follow-up statement in the coming days.

Dot Esports has contacted PGL and Goons for official responses.

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Image of Gökhan Çakır
Gökhan Çakır
Gökhan is a Staff Writer and Fortnite Lead at Dot Esports. Gökhan graduated as an industrial engineer in 2020 and has since been with Dot Esports. As a natural-born gamer, he honed his skills to a professional level in Dota 2. Upon giving up on the Aegis of Champions in 2019, Gökhan started his writing career, covering all things gaming, while his heart remains a lifetime defender of the Ancients.