Dota 2 team Newbee has been officially banned from all Valve events, along with their entire current roster, following an investigation into match fixing.
The ban was made effective from January 1, and is a permanent ban. As well as Newbee as an organisation, the five players in their line-up have also been hit with permanent bans. These players are Xu “Moogy” Han, Yin “Aq” Rui, Wen “Wizard” Lipeng, Yan “Waixi” Chao, and Zeng “Faith” Hongda.
The ban was revealed on Twitter, with the reason stated simply as “match fixing”. There was recently an in-depth investigation on alleged match-fixing by Newbee against Avengers in the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Qualifiers.
Reason: Match fixing.
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) January 3, 2021
Newbee were one of the most popular and successful teams on the Dota 2 circuit prior to the ban. The organisation won The International 4, and placed second in The International 7. The International, or TI, is considered the pinnacle of the competitive Dota 2 scene.
Until the full findings of the investigation are revealed, the reasons for Newbee’s ban will remain unclear. Sometimes, match fixing can mean throwing entire rounds, while other times it can be spot fixing, such as throwing a “first to X kills” count in order to make money off betting.
Banning a team and its entire roster is rare, but not unprecedented. In 2016, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team inchk1ng and their line-up were also banned for match fixing.