Knights or Knaves? Knights fall apart at Lima Major cover image

Knights or Knaves? Knights fall apart at Lima Major

Dota 2’s Knights fall apart at Lima Major, stoking allegations against them

Chinese DPC team Knights qualified for the Dota 2 Lima Major 2023 as the region’s third seed but have so far failed to win a single game. The team has gone 0-3 in the first two days, and what’s more, have had some of the most one-sided games in the tournament.

Beyond this, Knights have one of the lowest average game-time in the event. Their first four matches all came in under 30 minutes, and only their contest against Geek Slate pushed the games beyond this. However, in that match, the length could have been attributed to the SEA team’s abundance of caution, and neither game was a particularly competent showing from Knights.

Overall, the Knights are dead last in the tournament. So what’s going on?

RIP China region?

Has the entire China region declined (Image via Perfect Work)
Has the entire China region declined (Image via Perfect Work)

With four slots and a tradition of being one of the formidable regions in Dota 2, China is in a bleak state right now. There’s the potential that the entire region gets eliminated before the playoffs. Not one Chinese team has won a single match outright, and only a few have taken individual games off opponents. 

Team Aster and PSG.LGD are still formidable (in the right circumstances) and definitely not pushovers, but the likes of EHOME and Knights are already the punching bags of the tournament.

So is Knights' performance just an indication of how bad the region has fallen? Already there are rumblings about having China’s slots reduced, and given to a more “deserving” region. Perhaps SEA, who have two teams currently on track for the upper bracket of the playoffs?

Something more sinister from Knights

But the elephant in the room (No, not that Elephant), is that Knights have some pretty heavy allegations leveled against them.

In early January, the squad was accused of using hacks in-game during a DPC match. This serious cheating allegation was reportedly investigated by both tournament organizer Perfect World, and the information handed to Valve. However, no findings were ever published.

Then, in February, the team was accused of match-fixing, as a large amount of money was reportedly bet on the opposing team, and the scoreline of Knights’ match against EHOME. While allegations were made, no comment was released from Perfect World or Valve.

And most recently, just yesterday (Feb. 23) more allegations of suspicious betting activity were made. This time accompanying both the performance of EHOME and Knights:

Now, on LAN, under more rigorous eyes and referees, Knights can’t perform. And even more suspicious bets are emerging. It’s not surprising some are drawing negative conclusions given the circumstances.

Night, night for Knights?

Is this curtains for the Knights after serious allegations about their Dota 2 performances? (Image via Valve)
Is this curtains for the Knights after serious allegations about their Dota 2 performances? (Image via Valve)

Charitably, this is the first LAN event for a newly formed roster hastily brought together after Royal Never Give Up sold their slot. Jet lag, nerves on LAN, travel jitters, anything could explain a poor performance from a team at a Major. And jumping to the most destructive conclusion isn’t healthy.

There’s three more days of matches in the Lima Major Group Stage, and Knights has a lot of time to get back on their horse and charge into battle again. But will these knights win the favor of the watching Dota 2 crowd? Or end up knocked from their steed, lying in the mud, in humiliating fashion.