Leonid “Sonic” Kuzmenkov and Dmitri “Ax.Mo” Morozov of Dota 2 team Dx have received 2 year bans each from future Uprise Champions Cup (UCC) tournaments following an investigation into their recent match against Yellow Submarine.
Following concerns and rumours around a Dota 2 match played in the World Cyber Arena (WCA) European Qualifiers for the CIS region in September 2017, the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) launched an investigation of the match in question, between Dx and Yellow Submarine. Sportradar Integrity Services undertook the investigation of the global betting patterns and passed on their Report to ESIC.
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Although the event comes under the WCA banner, UCC are the local tournament organiser and handled the event.
Speaking about the decision, ESIC Commissioner Ian Smith said: “It is always depressing to see young esports athletes succumb to the temptations that matchfixing presents. But I remain hopeful that this decision will send a powerful deterrent message to esports athletes across the various titles and tournaments - that ESIC are more than happy to follow up questions and concerns around matches, even when those matches do not fall under our existing coverage partnerships. Sportradar’s fully tailored Fraud Detection System was on hand to help us get to the bottom of the betting patterns globally and off the back of that, we have been able to underline our commitment to clean and credible eSports”.
The Esports Integrity Coalition is a not for profit members’ association established in 2015 by key esports stakeholders to deal with issues of common interest – in particular the threat that match manipulation and betting fraud and other integrity challenges pose to esports.
James Watson, Head of esports at Sportradar added: “We have worked with Ian and his team for a few years now, focusing on prevention and education to help ensure players and their entourages can avoid the pitfalls that fixers put around them. But sometimes it is our monitoring and detection expertise that is called upon, as it was here. As a keen and committed member of the esports community, I am grateful that, together with my team at Sportradar and with ESIC, we can work with UCC to send a clear message to fixers and the wider community about how seriously we all take this issue”.