747 Live’s Dota 2 roster is a new entry to the SEA region, but with another team sponsored by the betting company there are concerns.

Southeast Asian competitive Dota 2 could face allegations of a conflict of interest as a new team sponsored by a betting company joins the scene. 747 Live Dota, an organization unveiled on Sunday, Nov. 5, brings a series of familiar faces together to create a new Dota 2 stack.

The team’s namesake sponsor, 747 Live already sponsors storied SEA Dota organization Execration Predator. 747 Live, an online gambling operator, has been a jersey sponsor of Execration since February 2023. The latest images on the team’s social media still display the 747 Live logo, meaning it’s a good assumption the sponsorship is still in place.

However, these two sponsorships could lead to a conflict of interest, where a team owned by a betting company (747 Live Dota) finds itself playing against another team in the same region, sponsored by the same company (Execration Predator). Beyond this, questions of competitive integrity could be raised when multiple teams competing against each other are effectively bankrolled by the same organization.

Betting sponsors like 747 Live are not uncommon in Dota 2, with dozens of teams and organizations supported in some way by the gambling industry. BetBoom Team is another team whose title sponsor is a betting company, while Tundra, Talon Esports, and Team Spirit are just a few of the companies who have had betting sponsors on their jerseys in the past year. In some cases, it’s been same betting sponsor on several teams, with Betway and 1xBet sponsoring multiple rosters.

Even so, concerns over conflicts of interest have remained limited, perhaps due to the previously segregated nature of the Dota Pro Circuit. Although sponsors often support multiple teams, with regional leagues and few international events, it’s only been on the rare occasion these teams face each other. 

The 747 Live sponsorship of both their new Dota 2 stack, and Execration, is potentially one of the more obvious cases of a conflict of interest arising from sponsors within a region.

Unfortunately, if there was an issue, the current state of competitive Dota doesn’t lend itself to arbitrating or overseeing it. In the past, the DPC rulebook barred teams from the same parent organization competing against each other in the same leagues, although was more lenient on teams with the same sponsors. With the DPC dissolved, there’s effectively no rulebook. And with no rulebook, organizations will be their own arbiters of what does and doesn’t constitute conflict of interest.

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