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Top 5 of Last Year’s Most High-Profile Cybersport Scandals

Scandals are an integral part of the cybersport industry. From time to time, the community gets to know about frauds, unethical behavior, or technological failures. The news affects everyone who is interested in tournaments, gaming innovations, and esports betting. Scandals allow the industry to analyze its weak points, make conclusions, and find ways for improvement. This article offers its readers a selection of the top five cybersport dramas that took place in 2020.

Corrupt CS:GO Trainers

Let’s start with the news that might affect not only players but also those who enjoy eSports betting for cash. When fans make stakes on a match, they expect it to be colorful, emotional, and fair. However, some people might try to outsmart the system…

Last year, the coaches of three CS:GO teams failed to get admission to competitions:

  • MIBR
  • Heroic
  • Hard Legion Esports

The game contains a bug that allows the contenders to track the activity of their opponents. There was nothing new about this flaw. But the coaches in discussion heavily used it during the lockdown, while all the competitions were taking place online.

34 coaches in total tried to benefit from the technical deficiency. The Esports Integrity Commission undertook an investigation to get these statistics. Eventually, some clubs stopped collaborating with the infringers — while others did not.

Fake Dota 2 Matches

The prominent Newbee club from China allegedly took part in fake Dota 2 matches. The cybersportsmen themselves denied the charges. They claimed that the Chinese Professional Dota 2 Teams Association (CDA) provided no proof of them being guilty. The culprits asked for a more scrupulous investigation.

Still, the organization and the sportsmen from the roster got a lifetime ban from MarsTV tournaments and Imba Media. The CDA stated that they verified the information thoroughly enough. Later, the Association shared their findings with the Perfect World and Valve. The former seemed to forgive the culprits. Three participants returned to championships organized by this operator.

Harassment and Domestic Violence

Those who follow the news about cybersport matches and esports betting should have heard a lot about sexism and unethical behavior last year:

  • Several high-ranking officials of the famous Ubisoft game studio had to leave their posts. This happened because of harassment accusations. The share price of the brand decreased by 9% following this news.
  • Paul RedEye Chaloner was accused of inappropriate behavior in tournaments. Paul is a renowned esports commentator with nearly 20-year expertise. Allegedly, he was beating his colleagues and using undue influence. Moreover, he displayed domestic violence towards his wife while their kids were watching. The celebrity presenter called time on his career even though the court acquitted him.
  • ashnichrist cosplayer accused Andrew Zyori Campbell, a well-known Dota 2 commentator, of forcing her to have sex with him. The latter replied that their attraction was based on mutual sympathy. After that, a few other prominent members of the Dota 2 community faced similar accusations. 

On the one hand, abuse and harassment can not be tolerated. On the other hand, several distinguished personalities had to prematurely finish their career even though there was not enough proof for their reprehensible behavior. 

The Epic Fail of Cyberpunk 2077

In less than 2 weeks, this long-anticipated game sold 13 mln copies. To the deepest disappointment of its numerous fans, it turned out to be chock-full of bugs and errors. Most often, users would complain about the following issues:

  • The game wouldn’t start
  • The game was working unstable
  • The interface was incomprehensible
  • The mission design seemed outdated
  • And many more

Most problems were connected with launching Cyberpunk 2077 on a console, especially if the device was not brand new. A bit later, it turned out that CD Projekt RED, the developer, failed to dispatch the Xbox One and PS4 versions to journalists. Obviously, the representatives of the brand knew it was inoperable.

The software provider apologized to the public. It pledged to build two patches in 2021 that would make Cyberpunk 2077 compatible with legacy consoles. Plus, it offered a financial refund to customers who placed so many bets on the novelty that they had been waiting for 8 years.

Pirated Dota 2 Broadcasts

During the Gamers Without Borders 2020 charity tournament, Eugene Sh4dowehhh Alekseev pirated the broadcast. Also, he put advertising banners in his personal stream, which contradicts Valve’s policies. 

Commentator Vitaly v1lat Volochay was the first to notice it. He suggested that Sh4dowehhh should share commercial content with his audience once the game was over. It is legal to discuss and analyze the match that has already ended — what’s more, the streamer can replay its fragments. 

Alekseev responded that lack of non-official broadcasts hit Dota 2 more severely than piracy and said he was committed to going on. It was weird that at that moment, the official spokesperson of the software provider did not intervene in the conflict.

Kyle Kyle Friedman, former pro Dota 2 player and caster, explained to the public the monetization mechanisms of the gaming sphere. Tournament operators hold exclusive rights for their events because it allows them to get income. The number of views is a secondary parameter for them because it does not directly convert into cash.

Valve found it necessary to settle the misunderstanding between the streamers and the organizers of the competitions. In Autumn, the Dota 2 representatives shared broadcast rules and elucidated the potential points of controversy that streamers and maintenance could face. The spokesperson of the brand insisted that streamers had no right to offer alternative broadcasts to their audience. Instead, they should stick to the original content.


Hopefully, 2021 will bring to the gaming community many more positive news than scandals. Cybersport fans are looking forward to technological breakthroughs, design innovations, fruitful collaborations, and the release of exciting new titles. However, those who place bets on tournaments or just love to watch them realize that new dramas are inevitable. The industry should be ready to make lemonade with these lemons and find growth opportunities in each crisis.