This isn't the first time Knights has been accused of unethical practices.
The newly established Chinese team Knights is being dragged through the mud once again by the Dota 2 community in suspicions of match-fixing. The accusations stemmed from a twofold reason, with the first being Knights repeatedly questionably losing games from winning or equal positions at the ongoing Lima Major, and the second being the betting odds of the team on some Chinese websites.
Those who follow the Chinese scene will know how the team surprised everyone by making it to Peru to play their first-ever Major. They were subsequently placed in Group B alongside their peers at the tournaments.
On Day 1, they were defeated by the dominant Western European side Entity, who managed to wrap up the game in just half an hour with a whopping 47 kills. The Chinese squad was up against Team Liquid on Day 2, and the latter’s aggressive play style won them the game, but not without some people pointing out suspiciously minimal pushback.
Things took a turn for the worse by an incident that sparked concerns across Reddit. This happened In a match between Knights and Geek Slate, and had the viewers scratching their heads in confusion.
In the game, the Chinese side had a strong start before GS came back into the game and pushed their opponents down to the bottom of the Group B table. The remarkable thing was that even while Knights were well in the lead, the odds for them to win were ludicrously high beyond any logical reasoning.
Additionally, the betting odds for the game ending in an odd total number of kills were bizarrely high. For context, odds for such 50:50 bets are almost always either equal or extremely close together. Both matches eventually ended with odd total numbers of kills.
Back in January, the squad was accused of using vision hacks in three of its matches during the Chinese Dota Pro Circuit 2023 Season. A freshly formed team, Knights had just lost their first game to Team Aster, but climbed up the ladder against Gaming & PSG.LGD with a score of 2-0. During both of these matches, the team made certain moves on the map that left spectators perplexed.
As we know from recent news, Valve was busy catching individuals and teams for cheating using their honeypot method, plus cracking down on account-sharing and match-fixing. However, even though replays of these matches were sent to the developer for assessment on January 10, they have since provided no response.
Undeterred by such accusations, Knights continued to perform surprisingly well in the regional DPC and qualified for the Lima Major.
Unnormal amount of money were placed on EHOME victory on Map 2, and what makes me really sad – on odd/even number of kills at Map 2
Knights vs EHOME match was fixed
— Vitalii Volochai #StandWithUkraine (@v1lat) February 2, 2023
In Knights’ DPC Winter Tour match against EHOME, the odds for the latter winning were again suspiciously high during Game 2, along with the now-familiar case of bizarre odds for odd/even number of kills which made famous Ukrainian broadcast talent Vitalii Mykolavyovych “v1lat” Volochai Tweet out his concerns.
Circling back to the present day, it is even more suspicious that as of Day 3, Knights have only won a single game despite coming into the tournament as a strong side. They finally managed to beat Shopify Rebellion after winning 7 games in a row.
Another Ukrainian Dota caster, Oleksii “BafiK” Bafadarov, drew Valve and Lima Major organizer Epulze's attention to this on Twitter. The controversial team is being scrutinized by many pundits and community members are calling for further investigation.
I really think that @valvesoftware need to investigate this abnormal rates on China betting sites during Knights and EHOME games.
1st screen – ingame situation, 2nd screen – rates on chinese betting site.#LimaMajor2023 pic.twitter.com/Zun8rA4hMF
— Oleksii Bafadarov (@bafikk) February 23, 2023
With three more days to go, there is still a chance for Knights to escape these accusations, perhaps. Still, the case of the kill numbers and the previous matches, along with their earlier unresolved vision hacks issue, remains to be adjudged by the respective governing bodies.
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