A new scandal is currently making waves in the world of eSports following allegations that a Sqreen’s Squad v Nemiga game in the ProDotaCup was fixed.
The suspicions were sufficiently strong for operator and sponsor X-bet, along with technology provider UltraPlay to suspend the ProDotaCup market whilst investigations were carried out.
X-bet played a leading role in the investigation, providing betting pattern and results evidence to UltraPlay which indicated that betting irregularities and match fixing took place on at least three different occasions.
X-bet spokesman Russ Stevens said:
“Match fixing causes a financial loss to the operator but what is worse is that it jeopardises the relationship between the teams and the eSports fans which affects the eSports community as a whole.
“We have been surprised to see that there are bettors with a 100%-win rate on chosen ProDotaCup matches during the last three months. That made us think more about the existence of a tight-knit syndicate around the PDCup tournament, with usage of insider information in order to wager on the match outcomes.”
UltraPlay spokesman Peter Ivanov said that UltraPlay examined the evidence presented by X-bet and decided to stop offering odds on the ProDotaCup tournament.
He observed that any existence of match-fixing and betting collusion is damaging both financially and reputationally for the organisations involved, and has a negative effect on eSports betting overall.
The evidence was also considered by Ian Smith, the eSports Integrity Commissioner, who concluded that the Sqreen’s Squad v Nemiga game was fixed.
“We have been unable to contact the tournament organiser, who is not an ESIC member, but we would urge him to contact us to discuss how these integrity threats can be addressed, before his business loses all credibility through what is clearly occurring in his tournaments, Smith said.”There can be zero tolerance of match-fixing in eSports.”