Match fixing remains a thorn in the side of esports’ claim to legitimacy, and just a few weeks after Valve took a firm stance against skin betting, it appears that yet another throw may have occurred.
Filipino roster S1Lykos, a team with little to no success aside from the occasional single-game upset against teams from around South East Asia, allegedly threw a match today against Arcanys Gaming. Prior to a match earlier in the MSI Dragon Battle, odds on the match shifted heavily in the favor of S1Lyko’s opponents, despite the squad riding a 11-series loss-streak.
In both games of the series, S1Lykos’ Karl “Goodboy” Jayme made several suspicious mistakes, the types of errors few would expect to see at the professional level. Shortly after the series’ conclusion, reddit user Krampus626 made a thread on the Dota 2 subreddit showcasing the suspicious antics and showing that several massive bets were placed just before the series was set to start.
In the thread’s current top comment, the series’ English-speaking commentator PocelainLilly outlines the many strange moments in the game. She also made a YouTube video showing each moment
“I’m hesitant to blame the whole team for throwing, but looking through the replay at things like who was microing that courier in game 1 (when it staggered into the whole enemy team who was pushing, like someone tried to send it back and someone else flew it into them anyway) would give a better idea as to if it was the whole team playing badly or just one player.”
Naturally these allegations carry significant weight, not least due to the fact that one of the biggest cases of match fixing in Dota 2 occurred in the Philippines in 2014. In that instance, the highly touted Arrow Gaming roster receive permanent bans from competing in any Valve event.
S1Lykos have denied the allegations. In a Facebook post team claims that “we are not on our best shape” and then adds cryptically “you’ll see in a few days why.”
It continues: “My players are not involve in any match fixing issues. I even asked them to forfeit the match even hours before the game.“
The team’s manager, Niel Dar Juan, has subsequently also provided news site Mineski with a statement on the matter, attributing the poor performance to internal struggles and poor playing conditions.