In a surprising turn of events at the Bali Major, the renowned Dota 2 team Azure Ray was recently embroiled in a controversy. The team, one of China’s star performers, was accused of exploiting a game bug during the tournament’s group stage.
As the Bali Major Group Stage was winding down on July 3rd, most teams were solidifying their positions. However, Azure Ray was battling to evade elimination. After winning their final series against Nouns, they secured a place in the tiebreakers against Bleed Esports, which would determine the last remaining team in Group B.
However, things took an unexpected twist when the tournament organizer, IO Esports, announced – in a subsequently deleted Tweet – that Azure Ray’s decisive 2-0 victory against Nouns was being downgraded to a 1-1 draw. The decision was taken in light of alleged bug abuse during the second match of the series, which, according to IO Esports, provided Azure Ray with an unfair advantage.
So, what was the bug in question?
A screenshot of a WhatsApp message, shared by 9Panda’s manager on Telegram, provides some clues. The message, presumably sent by the tournament organizer to all teams, describes an ongoing bug associated with the game’s Watchers. Teams could allegedly identify whether a Watcher was captured – even through the fog of war – simply by pinging them. Depending on whether an “Attack Command” or a “Shield Icon” was displayed, teams could ascertain the status of the Watcher.
Despite its seeming insignificance, the exploit of this bug had the potential to alter the competitive dynamics of a match. Consequently, IO Esports, in consultation with Valve, decided to penalize any team found to be exploiting this bug, even threatening disqualification.
The repercussions for Azure Ray were immediate. Their alleged bug abuse led to a reduction in their match victory against Nouns, causing a drop in their scoreline and putting them on the brink of elimination. At the same time, Bleed Esports was set to advance to the Lower Bracket of the Playoffs. Despite the deletion of the official announcement by IO Esports, Liquipedia’s updates lent credibility to the penalty.
The incident serves as a stark reminder of the stringent measures in place to ensure fair play in esports tournaments. As the story develops, the Dota 2 community is keenly awaiting updates on the status of Azure Ray, a team comprised of the talented Lou “Lou” Zhen, Lu “Somnus” Yao, Yang “Chalice” Shenyi, Xu “fy” Linsen, and Jiang “天命” An.
Stay tuned for more updates on this unfolding controversy, and keep an eye out for the implications it may have on the Dota 2 competitive scene.