Ten players from Team Orca and Team Apex received permanent bans from all Valve events after sharing accounts in the SEA DPC Open Qualifier.
The Dota 2 scene is let down yet again by another match-fixing activity in the Southeast Asia (SEA) region. This time around the match-fixing involved two teams - Team Orca, a SEA Division II team, and Team Apex, a team competing in the SEA Open Qualifier. The conflict involved many well-known players in the region including vtFaded, AhJit, and Yif.
During the SEA Open Qualifier for the Spring Tour DPC, Team Apex met against ChubbyBoiz in the Round of 16 and scored a victory to proceed. However, organizers suddenly disqualified Team Apex and allowed ChubbyBoiz to proceed to the next round. Following the disqualification, SEA DPC League announced that Team Orca has been disqualified from the SEA DPC.
Team Orca played under Team Apex's accounts in the SEA DPC OQ
The SEA DPC League posted, “During the recent DPC SEA Qualifiers, evidence shows that Team Orca players used Team Apex accounts to compete on their behalf. This is an unacceptable breach of competitive integrity from both teams.”
The match-fixing activity led to an inevitable ban for both teams. "A decision has been made to permanently ban everyone in Team Orca and Apex permanently from Valve events," SEA DPC League stated.
As a result of the team’s removal from the DPC, another team from the Open Qualifier will fill in the slot. The organizer will hold a Closed Qualifier among the top Open Qualifier teams to select Team Orca’s replacement.
Team Orca, formerly known as Ragdoll, is a rising Division II team that recently won the BTS Pro Series SEA Season 10. In the tournament, they defeated high-profile names such as T1 and Execration with ease, marking them as one of the strongest teams in the region. However, the upsetting revelation regarding their match-fixing activity quickly tossed their Dota 2 careers out the window.
According to the official statement, the players of Orca played on behalf of Team Apex which is a breach of competitive integrity. As a result, 10 players from both teams received a permanent ban from all Valve events.
Banned players (Team Orca and Team Apex):
- Cheng "vtFαded" Jia Hao
- Wang Liang
- Zhou "Yif" Yifu
- Lai "AhJit" Jay Son
- Wong "Gy" Kok Guan
- Bùi "hunghung" Văn Hùng
- Pang "BrayaNt" Jian Zhe
- Namir “QWE” Mohammad
- Nguyễn "Datbb" Thành Đạt
- JJ - 杨俊杰
Not the first illegal activity for Team Orca and vtFaded
This is not the first time the young carry player, vtFaded is in the hot seat for illicit activity. In 2021, during the second DPC season, vtFaded competed in the Open Qualifier with Team D using a smurf account. This happened while he was still officially under a team that was in the DPC. Team D was disqualified and vtFaded received a ban for roughly a year.
Beyond The Summit also revealed that Team Orca was involved in multiple match-fixing activities during the BTS Pro Series SEA S10 and other third-party tournaments. As a result, the 10 players from Team Orca and Team Apex are also banned from all BTS tournaments and events. As they were the champions of the tournament, the given prize pool will be redacted and redistributed.
vtFaded denies his involvement
After the ban was sanctioned, vtFaded was spotted liking Tweets that mentioned innocent players in the teams. He posted on Twitter, claiming that he had no idea about the account-sharing incident. He will be working on gathering evidence to prove his innocence in the case and appeal to Valve, "I will try to gather some information that I can and hopefully appeal to Valve that I have no involvement and innocent from match-fixing, as well as accusations of sharing accounts." said vtFaded.
We will have to wait for more information and updates regarding the situation of vtFaded. As for the other players, there has not been any statement yet.
The news about talented players receiving lifetime bans is devastating to a lot of fans, but many acknowledge the necessity of the punishment. The vile act of match-fixing has long lingered in the esports and Dota 2 scene. Thus, it is crucial to weed out these destructive presences for the health of Dota 2's ecosystem.