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X-Bet and UltraPlay withdraw sponsorship from ProDotaCup after match-fixing

TAGs: eSports, ProDotaCup, ultraplay, X-bet

Esports betting platforms X-Bet and UltraPlay have withdrawn sponsorship from the ProDotaCup after the latest in a string of match-fixing and betting irregularities come to light.

X-Bet and UltraPlay withdraw sponsorship from ProDotaCup after match-fixingYou accrue wisdom by avoiding the wart on your arse ugliness of instant gratification, and that’s a shame because if you’re young and impressionable, you haven’t accrued the wisdom to understand this.

Esports data analysts, NewZoo, has an optimistic view that the esports industry could be worth $2.4bn by 2020 if they can follow this six-point plan:

Critical Success Factors

1. The success of local leagues and the franchising approach.
2. Implementation of regulations.
3. The arrival of new game formats and competition.
4. Uptake of content right sales.
5. Team profitability.
6. Industry convergence involving traditional media, entertainment, telecom and sports companies.

I believe they have a big challenge managing point 2.

Imagine your a kid, dreaming of becoming a legend in the world of esports. But you need money to buy a car, fuel, and insurance. Your parents want you to pay room and board. You need all of the top gear, coaching, and a mentor. And just to add to the woes, it’s Christmas, so you need to buy a lot of crap for people you don’t like.

And you’re earning a pittance competing in a Dota 2 competition.

Someone comes along and offers you a few grand to fix a match.

The thought of instant gratification flows through your neurochemistry. You know you shouldn’t do it, but you’re a risk taker. You take the money, fix the match, and get paid. Nothing changes, except life, becomes easier.

You do it again.

And again.

But here’s the thing about wisdom. If you had a good store of it, you would know that it’s virtually impossible for someone to cheat in sports and get away with it consistently.

Cheats always get caught.

X-Bet and UltraPlay Drop ProDotaCup Sponsorship 

X-Bet is an esports sports betting business using the UltraPlay platform. Since June 2017, they have sponsored the ProDotaCup. No more. The two parties have announced the termination of their deal because of betting irregularities, collusion and match-fixing.

The straw that broke the Orcs back was a match between Sqreen’s Squad and Nemiga Gaming during the Upper-Bracket Preliminary of ProDotaCup Europe #25. Now I’m no expert on cheating, but if I were on the betting side of a sure thing, I would make sure that my win percentage didn’t draw the eyes of the sportsbook’s AI systems.

The planks behind this scheme had a 100% win rate over a three-month period. Not thinking they had found the Haralabos Voulgaris of esports, X-Bet officials sent the data to the Esports Integrity Commissions (ESIC), and a verdict of match-fixing followed.

Russ Stevens, an X-Bet spokesperson, told ESports Insider that match-fixing jeopardises the relationship between the teams and the eSports fans which affects the eSports community as a whole.  

UltraPlay concurred with Peter Ivanov, Head of Esports Trading, stating:

We believe that any existence of match-fixing and betting collusion is damaging both financially and reputationally the organisations involved, but moreover they badly affect the overall eSports betting ecosystem.” 

Ian Smith, ESIC Commissioner, who recently added UltraPlay to their growing stable of esports stalwarts who want to work together to stamp out corruption urged the tournament organisers to contact him for a pow-pow on the issue. Smith also feels the tournament organiser should pass information to Valve so they can ban the perps from all Dota 2 competitions.

Both X-Bet and UltraPlay confirm that this is the latest in a string of match-fixing issues in this tournament, with no less than three reported instances since June 2017.

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