Another team has been disqualified from the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) in Southeast Asia. Malaysian squad Team Assault were found guilty of account sharing, the organiser of the DPC’s SEA regional league, PGL, announced on Thursday (14 January).
Team Assault was one of the eight teams that qualified to the Lower Division of the DPC’s SEA regional league after placing in the top four in Stage 2 of the closed qualifiers.
Some of the players on Team Assault include former LGD.int players Wang “Gy” Kok Guan and Raymond “Rayy” Then Wan Jia as well as veteran Siong Tait "JoHnNy" Lee.
PGL did not indicate which Team Assault player was found guilty of account sharing. In the context of this incident, account sharing refers to a player sharing his Dota 2 account to another player so that the latter can play in professional matches while posing as the former.
Suspicions surrounding Team Assault’s behavior started to arise on 10 January, when they surprisingly defeated the ZeroTwo stack, 2-0, during Stage 2 of the closed qualifiers of the DPC’s SEA regional league.
The outcome of the matchup drew the attention of many, as ZeroTwo was the one expected to sweep Team Assault. ZeroTwo was one of the most talented teams in the qualifiers, with big names such as Randy Muhammad "Dreamocel" Sapoetra, Ng Kee "ChYuan" Chyuan, and Muhammad "inYourdreaM" Rizky included in its roster.
Shortly after ZeroTwo’s loss, the team’s offlaner, Lee “X1aOyU” Qianyu, aired his suspicions in a pub game with Indonesian streamer Ramzi "Ramz" Bayhaki and said that he thinks the banned Newbee players were actually the ones playing against them using the accounts of Team Assault’s players.
Once one of the top Chinese organisations in Dota, Newbee was caught in a massive match-fixing scandal in May last year. The team was banned indefinitely from participating in tournaments hosted by major Chinese organisers shortly after, with Valve also handing them a lifetime ban from participating in the DPC and other Valve-hosted events earlier this month.
The scandal rocked the scene, as it involved an organisation, Newbee, as well as a player, Zeng “Faith” Hongda, that have previously won The International (TI). Newbee won TI4 in 2014 while Faith won TI2 in 2012 as a member of Invictus Gaming.
X1aOyU pointed out that Team Assault’s players were playing too well and that their ping suggested that they were playing from China instead of Malaysia. He later added that his team already reported their suspicions to PGL.
The outcome of the match even prompted former T1 carry player, Galvin "Meracle" Kang Jian Wen, who also played in the qualifiers with the HOYO stack, to allude to “suspicious teams” in the DPC in a post on his personal Twitter account.
suspicious teams even in the dpc........
— Galvin (@Meracleeeeee) January 10, 2021
With Team Assault being disqualified from the DPC, their spot has been given to Indonesian team Army Geniuses.
Other disqualifications in the DPC
This is now the fourth instance that a team or player was disqualified from the DPC, with the three prior disqualifications being handed to two teams and one player from Southeast Asia and North America.
The first disqualification was handed on 7 January to the Malaysian stack VisDota2, which were barred from participating in the second stage of the closed qualifier and the subsequent open qualifiers for the Southeast Asian regional league for using a player that had been previously banned by Valve.
The second disqualification of the DPC qualifiers was handed to North American stack VirtusProPolar (no relation to the CIS organisation Virtus.pro) on 7 January for an unauthorised use of a stand-in.
The third disqualification was handed to Jimmy “DeMon” Ho, who was playing with the Aristotle stack, on 10 January for misconduct in previous tournaments.
Valve has not given any statements regarding the disqualifications at the time of writing.
The DPC is set to begin on 18 January, with the regional leagues for Europe, Southeast Asia, CIS, North America, and South America running until 28 February. Meanwhile, the Chinese regional league will run until 14 March as it will be having a break in the middle of the season to accommodate the Chinese New Year on 12 February.
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