The history of Dota 2 is one of greatness. LD: Not yet! Sylar to fall, Liquid are doing it! They’re gonna take it! KuroKy: I waited four f***ing years for this day. This time we’re gonna rewrite history. Capitalist: EG might be able to do this! Evil Geniuses, they’re holding! LD: Ravage on everyone! The black hole as well! LighTofHeaveN, turns it around! Ravage as well! Stolen by Dendi, are you kidding me!? TobiWan: TNC have done it! The dream, the reality! But it’s also a history that’s not exempt from the absurd, the embarrassing, and the controversial. From game ruining bugs, to the biggest of professional scandals… TobiWan: I cannot believe it! Let’s look back into the most hilarious balancing blunders, the most shocking news, and the lowest points of Dota 2’s storied past. Match-fixing and intentional throws are a hazard of any competitive game and we’re kicking things off with two of the the most infamous examples in Dota 2 history. On June 14th 2013, RoX.KiS took on zRage in an online match in StarLadder Star Series sixth season. Despite being the favourites, RoX lost the game in suspicious fashion with a number of highly questionable engages and buybacks throughout the game. Sheever: They actually want to try to go in with this, Bzz… He was already very low to begin with… They just run in here to die! What’s up with that? That’s not good… The surprise upset was investigated by StarLadder officials, and two days later it was determined that Alexei “Solo” Berezin had intentionally thrown the match after placing a bet against his own team on egamingbets.com Solo publicly apologized for throwing the match, and admitted to using his girlfriend’s account to place a one-hundred dollar bet against his team. And on June 21st, RoX removed Solo from their roster. StarLadder had initially handed Solo a lifetime ban for his actions, but ended up reducing his ban to one
year following his public apology and cleared up any suspicion against the organization and its other players. Solo’s winnings would have totaled three-hundred and twenty-two dollars and the community wasted no time in making the number three-two-two a popular meme throughout esports, often sarcastically referenced when a player is playing so badly it is borderline suspicious. Maut: Don’t do it Zai, you’re too young! What are you doing?! [laughter] But, a year later, a highly publicized match-fixing scandal took place that ended with much more dire consequences. In October of 2014, in Southeast Asia’s Synergy League, the heavily favoured Arrow Gaming lost to Australian squad Can’t Say Wips, prompting an investigation by Dota 2 Lounge. The examination uncovered several bets placed by individuals associated with the team leading Arrow Gaming to be disqualified from the tournament. Further investigations uncovered that the bets originated from accounts belonging to the girlfriends of ddz and Lance, resulting in the two players receiving lifetime bans from the event. Soon after the investigation, Arrow Gaming protested the players’ innocence providing Synergy League with chat logs and statements regarding the situation in ddz’s name. However, the logs were proven to be doctored and the statements false, and as a result, Synergy League extended the bans to Arrow Gaming’s entire organization. As a result of the whole debacle, Arrow Gaming and all of its players were removed from the line-up for The Summit 2’s SEA qualifiers and are still banned from Synergy League. Shortly after the incident ddz took to Facebook to publicly apologize on behalf of the players. Admitting that they had three-two-two’d and that the statements and chat logs provided to Synergy League were forged by Arrow’s management and not written by the players. A few days later Dota website 2p reported that team manager Jaren Gan had threatened to sue Lance and ddz for eight-thousand dollars each for breach of contract should they not retract their confession. Arrow Gaming would eventually release its entire roster. But that wasn’t the end of it. On March 28th, 2015, Valve stepped in, handing out permanent bans to all former members of Arrow Gaming from Valve sponsored events – including the International. While there are other examples of Dota 2 match-fixing, and still some we might not even know about, Arrow Gaming and Solo’s three-to-two are among the most memorable. Bugs come and bugs go, but some remain in infamy for just how ridiculous they are. Of all the bugs in Dota 2’s history, one stands above the rest for both how broken and straight-up hilarious it was. In patch 6.75 Chen’s abilities received a minor tweak as the ability to send allies back to base was moved off Holy Persuasion and back to Test of Faith. But in this process, something broke in the game. For some reason, Holy Persuasion, the ability used to control creeps, now worked on Roshan. You’d think that having Roshan, with his thousands of health, crushing basic attacks and abilities would be a bit strong to have as a pet… …And you’d be right. The discovery spread like wildfire and pretty soon, level one heroes, towers, and neutral creeps were falling to Roshan’s relentless attack. Basically, whichever team had a Chen would have free reign of the map from minute one. In all but the rarest of times that would lead to a dominant victory. Within hours of the bug’s discovery, Valve issued a hotfix… …Ending Chen’s very brief reign of terror. Now, nearly five-years old this bug remains one of Dota’s most iconic. While it generated plenty of salt at the time of its release, Today, you have to laugh at its absurdity. The International 2014 set records for its 10 million dollar prize pool and with that much money, teams were looking to gain every advantage possible, pouring hours into carefully crafting winning strategies that would make them millionaires. So when a Chinese news crew leaked team strategies during the tournament, you could imagine that some people were pretty pissed. The outrage stemmed from a Weibo post made by a user known as Dr.Kleiber, who posted a passionate open letter explaining the situation. According to the post, the crew of the website Gamefy made their way into Team DK’s off-limits game room and started rolling, despite having no permission from Team DK or Valve to do so. Initially posted to Youku, the video was translated to English and submitted to Gosu Gamers, spreading across the community. While both videos were taken down, after a furious interview by Team DK coach “71”, the video had spawned mirrors and copies all over the internet. According to “71”, the video revealed DK’s core strategy and drafting ideas. For not just the game in question, but the entire tournament. To make matters worse, the Weibo post also indicated that Gamefy had posted a similar video on June 11th, where they recorded Invictus Gaming’s team conversation. Thankfully, Ferrari_430 noticed the camera and left the room meaning not too much of IG’s discussion was leaked. Following the leak, iceiceice joined his coach in expressing his displeasure with Gamefy. A day after the outrage, Gamefy posted an apology to their Weibo, where they begged the community for forgiveness. In compliance with Valve’s rules, the personnel who were involved in the leak did not continue reporting on the event. Although Gamefy still worked for the remainder of the tournament. The community, upon hearing of the leak was understandably furious at the journalist in question. The outrage prompted Gamefy’s producer to post another apology, this time directly defending the “well-intentioned” reporter from whom the leak resulted. The overall impact of the Gamefy leak on TI4’s outcome is hard to extrapolate, But it’s even harder to deny its influence on Team DK, who headed into the tournament as one of the clear favourites. Needless to say, it is one of the largest scale leaks in Dota 2’s history and remains the most memorable scandal to emerge from The International. The term game-breaking can be thrown around loosely… Ayesee: He’s gonna try it again, can he… Got him that time! [crowd cheers] See you in the base, Mu! Welcome home! But in Dota 2, one particular bug stands out for quite literally breaking the game. In patch 6.81, Vengeful Spirit received a change to her aura that would apply a damage debuff to any hero that killed her. Simple right? Unfortunately, a bug caused the game to instantly crash if the aura debuff was applied to any non-player. Essentially a death to creeps or towers would force everyone out of the lobby. The bug was exploited almost instantly, much to the frustration of a large part of the community, as griefers intentionally suicided to prevent themselves from losing, ruining countless games. To no one’s surprise the issue was hot-fixed by Valve within a day of its discovery after massive community outcry. While many bugs have appeared since this rage inducer from 2014, few have had the catastrophic consequences of 6.81’s Venge aura. While Dota has had its fair share of bad tournaments in the past, none have captured the community’s ire quite like the Shanghai Major. KotLGuy: Where to begin? It seemed like every hour saw a new issue arise. As the days rolled on the event went from rage inducing… Draskyl: What? ODPixel: Did they say GG? Draskyl: They definitely didn’t. ..to almost comedic in its ineptitude. [laughter] Between the wealth of production issues, logistical nightmares, and endless delays, nothing seemed to be going right for anyone involved. And that doesn’t even cover all the problems, such as players’ keyboards going missing, talent not receiving food, water or transportation to the venue, the laughable VIP room… LD: So, they’ve added some chairs since I last came in. Not so soundproof booths, and fans and cosplayers being asked to leave the venue. We could go on, but you get the idea. ppd: There’s been so many delays and problems and it really makes our game and what we’re doing here look bad, which is unfortunate for everyone involved. Sheever: Because the production is not great… We’re gonna continue here with one more match today though, Evil Geniuses, MVP Phoenix and we’re gonna go continue with that after a small break, so we’ll see you soon. Soon. [laughter] Eventually Valve fired production company Perfect World and PGL was hired to salvage the rapidly sinking ship. And while PGL saved the show, it was too late. The Shanghai Major was already going to go down in history as one of Dota 2’s most embarrassing events. It really is a shame that the event went so wrong because against the backdrop of disaster, the games were fantastic and the casters and talent poured their all into it. TobiWan: The black hole! The vac is there! There’s a hole! Now they go! Universe force staffs the other way to safety! They can’t do anything to the cleave! In from Arteezy, and that’s the danger zone! In some cases, pulling double or even triple shifts to make sure that the show would go on. But while all that might be enough to put Shanghai on the wrong side of history, it was the firing of James “2GD” Harding that elevated the major to a new level of infamy. On day two, desk host 2GD was unexpectedly replaced on the panel. While the change raised some eyebrows in the community since 2GD was seen as an entertaining if slightly provocative host, there had been little to suggest that his off-brand style of humor would be grounds to have him fired. 2GD: It’s not just me here to talk about the dos and don’ts of Dota 2, and the cans and c***s of the teams. 2GD: The Chinese hotel had disabled pornography. Mr. Wang’s amazing wheelchaired antics were pretty amazing. WinteR: It shouldn’t be “Sir” 2GD, it should be “Old” 2GD. [laughter] 2GD: You can f*** off, WinteR. 2GD: Cons for CDEC… …they’re stubborn and only have one D. [laughter] But it wasn’t just his firing that got the community up in arms, it was the inflammatory response to the situation on Reddit by Valve co-founder and president, Gabe Newell. In that statement, Newell called 2GD “an ass”, while offering little in the way of an explanation for his dismissal. 2GD responded to the post suggesting that he was not just removed from the panel for his raunchy humor, but for a history of conflict with Valve employees and producers. ppd: He came in here trying to be himself and, you know, you can appreciate that but him being himself just isn’t what Valve wanted to be for the face of their Major and that’s their call. Regardless of the reasons or any past history between James and Valve, the manner in which Newell and Valve handled the dismissal and the community fallout it generated has become infamous. To this day, “is an ass” is a high tier meme within the Dota 2 scene. Despite the subsequent Manila, Boston, and Kiev Majors all being praised for their fantastic production values, the aftertaste left by the Shanghai Major will never be forgotten by Dota 2 fans. 2GD: So let’s check out some of the highlights. SyndereN: Your face is a beautiful highlight. Yep. [laughter] Broken hero releases are a pitfall of any MOBA and Dota 2 owns arguably the most outrageous one of all time. The introduction of Centaur Warrunner into Dota 2 in October of 2012 was basically a disaster. He was unkillable levels of tanky, dealt ridiculous damage, and could chain stun into death with ease. His opening day win rate in Dota 2 was staggering, at over sixty-seven percent. The hero was a complete and total nightmare to play against. Part of the reason for this unheard of dominance was that as part of the port from Dota to Dota 2 Centaur was given a new ultimate. Instead of Great Fortitude which gave flat strength, he received Stampede, a global ability on a tiny cooldown that gave all allies maximum movement speed, a ridiculous stun upon contact with an enemy and massive damage. Things were so bad that just four days later, Centaur received nerfs – specifically to Stampede. More nerfs would be dealt to the hero in December, removing the stuns from both Double Edge and Stampede. The hero had finally been brought back into line. Needless to say, the memory of Centaur stomping players into oblivion in 1v3 scenarios is pretty funny in retrospect, but easily makes it one of Dota 2’s most iconic broken updates. [laughs] Hopefully we never see such a busted hero release ever again. CW: Long shall my name be remembered. Since its formation in 2014, Team Secret has been a hotbed of controversy. From public roster disputes to reports of a hostile team environment, it seemed like for a long time Secret couldn’t keep their name out of the news – and not in a good way. Even going back to their inaugural roster, messy break-ups have been all too frequent. From N0tail and Fly’s bitter removal, To w33 and MiSeRy’s very public exits, changing rosters has rarely been smooth sailing for captain, Puppey, and the rest of Team Secret’s management. Redeye: A team of superstars, as they are, but yet to gel properly, perhaps. But if dramatic roster moves were the only thing that they were known for, Secret would not make this list. On February 16th, 2016, Team Secret’s now former manager, Evany Chang, took to Twitlonger and posted a lengthy account of her time with the team, where she alleged that Team Secret had missed making payments to players and staff and neglected to hand out tournament winnings in a timely manner. Later that year, EternalEnvy made similar accusations, alleging that he had yet to be paid for a number of tournaments. Additionally, stating that team director Kemal Sadikoglu and captain Puppey had committed other abuses. EternalEnvy claimed that the organization was secretly removing ten percent of all player winnings without previous consent, that players had never signed contracts and that Puppey had physically bullied w33 – among other accusations. That same day, another former player, MiSeRy, came forward. Stating that the team had failed to pay him for numerous tournaments and claimed that he hadn’t received agreed upon revenue from merchandise. A little more than a week later, Team Secret posted a response on their website simply titled “Update”, which while not acknowledging any accusations directly did admit that the organization had made mistakes attributed to its rapid growth. In March of 2017, Puppey would post his own Twitlonger announcing the departure of Sadikoglu and apologizing to past members of the organization that felt that they had been wronged, further claiming that all obligations to those individuals had now been met. Since then, Team Secret has settled down and kept their name out of negative news, but despite consistently being a strong team that has attracted serious talent over the years, the organization has yet to fully rehabilitate its image in the eyes of many community members. Thanks for watching! 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