X-bet terminates sponsorship to ProDotaCup due to ongoing match fixing
Online betting website X-bet has announced the permanent termination of its
sponsorship contract to ProDotaCup due to betting irregularities, collusion and match
fixing that have been reported by the operator to the organizers of the tournament.
According to X-bet’s spokesperson Russ Stevens, match fixing and collusion have
occurred between Sqreen’s Squad vs Nemiga Gaming during the Upper-Bracket
Preliminary of ProDotaCup Europe #25. As a result, the match was denied by the
admins. Even though the action, that wasn’t the first time the operator is experiencing
X-bet.co has been sponsoring the ProDotaCup since 1st of June, 2017. During the
sponsorship, the betting website has experienced match fixing at least 3 times that have
all been reported to the organizers.
Russ Stevens from X-bet.co has commented: “Match fixing causes a financial loss to
the operator but what is worse is that it jeopardizes 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.”, continues Stevens.
X-bet has reported the case to its betting provider UltraPlay, which has also
experienced few occasions of questionable practices related to this tournament before.
Both organizations have decided to remove ProDotaCup as a tournament to be covered
as a prevention of all players and operators that can be affected.
Peter Ivanov, Head of eSports trading department has stated: “We have evaluated the
cases related to ProDotaCup and have decided to stop offering odds on this tournament
to our clients’ network. We believe that any existence of match fixing and betting
collusion is damaging both financially and reputationally the organizations involved, but
moreover they badly affect the overall eSports betting ecosystem.
We are covering wide range of games and their respective tournaments and when such cases
pop up we have to move quick, together with all related parties, in order to eradicate these
practices and send a strong message to teams and players that we will not tolerate
such appalling behavior.”
Ian Smith, eSports Integrity Commissioner at ESIC has been also informed on the case
and commented: “ESIC was alerted to suspicious betting in these matches by UltraPlay,
with whom we have recently started working and then received further alerts from a
number of operators within our network. I examined the evidence provided and
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 members, 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. There
can be zero tolerance of match-fixing in esports – ultimately, it is the DOTA2 players
that will lose their careers if the audience can no longer trust that what they are
watching is a genuine competition. At the very least, I would expect ProDota to be
handing out long bans to the players involved and passing all possible information along
to Valve so these players do not turn up in other tournaments and ruin those too.”