London-headquartered esports organisation Fnatic have complained about a match they played in at the Dota 2 tournament The International 11 (TI11).
Fnatic were eliminated from the competition 1-0 by Gaimin Gladiators in the first knockout stage of the tournament – lower bracket round one.
Gaimin won this best-of-one in 50 minutes, but their integrity has since been called into question.
At one point during the match, Gaimin player Seleri said the players could hear the casters, and made a tactical in-game decision based on info from the broadcast sound.
It’s not just this match – there are apparently no soundproof booths at The TI this year, and players have been complaining that they can hear the commentators. This is giving English-speaking players an advantage.
While adjustments have apparently since been made to the speakers, the damage has already been done.
Fnatic co-owner Patrik ‘cArn’ Sättermon he was ‘beyond frustrated’ about the situation.
cArn said on Twitter: “We have filed a formal report after learning that the opponent in our elimination game at TI11 were able to hear the production of the match, and according to themselves leveraged from that information in their decision-making.
“As a former player I am very frustrated that such integrity issues are still not prevented, especially on the absolute biggest stage of the sport. Our intention is solely to raise awareness about something that can be as game breaking as dream crushing for the athletes.”
Fnatic’s Dota 2 team is a majority Philippines roster, while Gaimin features a mix of European players.
It seems absurd for this to happen on an esports stage in 2022, and even more so at a huge global event such as The International.
Gaimin Gladiators are due to play their next match in the tournament against OG in just under three hours, at the time of writing this article.
Elsewhere at The International, another London-headquartered org, Tundra Esports, are set to play at The International 11 against Team Aster in round two of the upper bracket on October 22nd 2022.
The International last year had a $40m prize pool last year, but it’s currently at $17m for 2022 due to reports of a falling playerbase, plus less interest in the battle pass and crowdfunding.
We’ll follow this story and update it as it develops.
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.