After a long and painful 6 months, three of the ten lifetime banned players have had their sentences cleared – Szabo666, SteelBorco, and P1 are free to play in BTS and Valve events again.

When it comes to career-killers in the Dota 2 professional playing path – there’s nothing quite like a Valve ban. We, unfortunately, saw them dealt out earlier this year, in the Lower Division of the NA DPC. After initial rumors of matchfixing in NA DPC circulated on Reddit, organizers BeyondTheSummit and Valve looked into the allegations. They subsequently concluded and issued lifetime bans to both Pecado Squad Gaming, and Wind and Rain. This meant that the players from both teams would not be allowed to participate in any Valve or BTS events.

Of course, some of the players would state their case, claiming innocence. Despite this, the decision had already been made, and their claims surfaced as more shouts into the void. Yet another case of up-and-comers falling prey to the allure of matchfixing – or so it seemed.

Fast forward to just a few days ago, 17th November, we saw a resolution to a case many thought was long closed. A tweet from BTS’s lead admin for the NA DPC James “NeeNaw” Neener announced the following:

This was followed by an official announcement from the NA DPC League Twitter as well, just a few days later.

Out of the ten players initially banned, three have come out of this proven innocent. They include Chad “Szabo666” Szabo and Ilyas “Steel-_-Borco” Kaukenov from WaR, and P1 from Pecado Squad Gaming. The verdict on the other seven remain unchanged.

Matchfixing – A Tale as Old as Time

If you’re not a player yourself or involved in the NA DPC scene – the prevalence of matchfixing may come as a surprise to you. Although, if you’ve been a fan of Dota, this isn’t anything new. The clear focus on emphasis on the upper echelons of the scene is a boon in its own way. It’s for that reason that so many flock to watch TI every year.

However, the side-effect is a lack of support and opportunities for those in Tier 2 and below scene. As a result, many of these players fall into the trap of matchfixing. After all, it happens so often, no one will find out – right?

The harsh punishment of lifetime bans isn’t nearly enough to stop them – the monetary gain is still more than what these players could look to make in their professional careers.

Although matchfixing will never truly be squashed, the hope is that with the evolution of the Tier 2 scene, and more support and infrastructure – players will not have to see it as an option.

In this case though, it’s a happy ending for the three players. They will be free again to compete in the upcoming NA DPC, but the competition is already looking tough.

You can check our mega-thread of every roster reshuffle you need to know about here.

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Mike Tsang - Writer of the Month: April

Mike Tsang

Writer of the Month: April | Twitter: @permasneeze | Twitch: permasneeze

Mike is a digital content producer from Singapore who lives and breathes Dota 2. When he's not playing or watching the game, he can be found slurping ramen or sleeping next to his cat.