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 such event.
X-bet.co has beensponsoring 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 bettorswith a 100%-win rate on chosen ProDotaCup matches during the last three months. That made us think more aboutthe 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 a 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.
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