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Investigation: how top rank players earn on betting via ruining games for popular streamers

The initial investigation was published on February 16. Then, many active participants commented on the subject. We publish the investigation with all the details known by April 30 for the first time in English.

On February 5, ex-NAVI and Winstrike player Bogdan "Iceberg" Vasylenko complained about people intentionally ruining his games for several pubs in a row. He noted that this happened because the betting lines opened on his pub games at EGB.

I had ten games in a row with the ruiners, who lost on purpose. I understand that the game would be crap from the very beginning. Any idiot can scout for me, go to EGB, and bet. I'm freaking speechless! I will write to this bookmaker and tell them not to open markets for my games. I wonder if I can forbid this.

Bogdan "Iceberg" Vasilenko

I made an investigation to know if this really happens and who stays behind that.

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What has happened?

At the beginning of February, EGB opened the live lines on popular streamers' pub games. At the same time, Iceberg, Topson, qojqva, and other content makers faced very questionable actions from players in their ranked matches, both in their and opponent teams. High-rank players ruined games on purpose, most likely to win their bets.

On February 5, when Iceberg complained about his games being ruined, EGB closed such markets but later returned them.

Cui bono?

Of course, the bookmaker is victorious on distance. It has a margin that allows to benefit. But what about the exact players? I reviewed more than 50 pub games featuring Iceberg on February 1-5. Below, you can find a table with the players who most likely could stream snipe Bogdan and bet on the pub games with him.

I formed this table according to several factors:

  • overall matches and days sniping;
  • intentional ruining;
  • many matches with other ruiners (both for and against Iceberg), which can indicate simultaneous searching for games.

People to stream snipe Iceberg on February 1-5

Matches (days) Losses Wins
tv/Julfy666 14 (5 days) for — 2
against — 4
for — 4
against — 4
shigetsu0 (account loaned*) 14 (4 days) for — 2
against — 9
for — 3
pulse 200 13 (4 days) for — 2
against — 3
for — 6
against — 2
Почесал + понюхал (SemaNoLove)
12 (3 days) against — 9
for — 1
against — 2
llill 13 (4 days) for — 4
against — 7
for — 3
against — 3
Lifting Shadows 9 (4 days) for — 2
against — 4
for — 1
against — 2
dgfddrty 9 (4 days) against — 2
for — 5
against — 2
Sensibility 9 (4 days) against — 6 against — 3
Re{Ali}Ty
9 (3 days) against — 4 for — 3
against — 2

*find more below

Some players do this on their own. They are searching for the games when Iceberg does and try to win or lose the game single-handedly. Others are sticking together and trying to snipe as a group. Therefore, they got higher chances to join the game with a streamer. The chances of winning a bet also increase as several players will affect the game.

One of the matches with several stream snipers (tv/Julfy666, pulse200, почесал + понюхал, shigetsu0)
The match with tv/Julfy666, pulse200, Sensibility, Re{Ali}Ty (aka Dewarded)

I have found out that one of the men behind the scheme was Aleksandr "Sensibility" Filatov, who was banned by Valve for the match-fixing. On February 4-5, he was looking for 8.3k MMR accounts to snipe Iceberg and other content-makers. Several sources confirmed this information. He did it on the same Discord server where the account affiliated with gpk~, DM, and ark was sold. He sniped Iceberg from the fake account mlg but later renamed it to Sensibility. He played with Vasilenko from his main account only one time.

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It is worth mentioning that several potential stream snipers' accounts, tv/Julfy666, shigetsu0, and Sensibility, are on friend lists with each other.

* When the first iteration of the investigation was published, the owner of the 'shigetsu0' Steam account approached me and stated that he loaned it to Sensibility. The owner himself claimed that he did not participate in the stream sniping.

On January 29, he saw the message from Sensibility on a Discord server for boosters. As he needed the money, he loaned his account to Filatov. Sensibility paid around $17 per game and said he was trying to win. Shigetsu0 didn't know that the account was used for sniping.

Screenshot 1, Screenshot 2 (in Russian)

  • shigetsu0: Hello. I can give you an 8900 MMR account
  • Sensibility: What rank?
  • shigetsu0: 311
  • Sensibility: How much do you want per game?
  • shigetsu0: 1200 rubles
  • Sensibility: Agreed
  • shigetsu0: ok
  • Sensibility: I will try to win
  • shigetsu0: Then I'm giving you the log and pass, and you enter with the Guard
  • Sensibility: Ok then
  • shigetsu0: Can you transfer to the Ukrainian card?
  • Sensibility: If it is possible from Sber [the Russian bank], then no problems
  • shigetsu0: Yes

Shigetsu0 started to suspect something was wrong when he saw some games with heavy losses from his account on Iceberg's stream. After that, he stopped the deal with Sensibility. Filatov offered him to get his pts back, but shigetsu0 refused.

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I also made another list of the accounts that could be connected to the streamsniping. Some of them played five or fewer games with the streamers, and some ruined the games to a lesser extent. According to stats and replays, this can also indicate their potential connection to the scheme.


Matches Wins Losses
melancholic 5 against — 4 against — 1
глаза горят 5 for — 2
against — 2
against — 1
smN (account loaned**) 3 against — 3
123 3 for — 1
against — 2
. 4 for — 1
against — 1
for — 2
朝娱 2 for — 1
against — 1
am i loosing? 4 against — 1 for — 2
against — 1
1 2 against — 2

**find more below

According to one of my sources, there is a discord channel for the top-rank players and boosters that earns on such betting markets. Sensibility is the head of this channel. They loan the accounts or play directly from their main and fake accounts. As an organized group, they try to snipe the streamer and then, according to the number of players assigned with or against their target, some ruin, and others play hard. The source claimed that the coordination and payoffs are up to "the unknown American" [it is worth mentioning that in the Russian-speaking community, "the American" can be referred to any English-speaking person].

The bet against the streamer's team is usually more profitable as the odds are way higher. Therefore, an intentional ruining of the streamer's game is the most reliable way to win the bet.

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Sensibility rejected the accusations and tried to deflect the blame

After the initial investigation was published, Sensibility gave a comment and stated that he was not involved in sniping Iceberg. He even tried to name the ones who allegedly did it.

I really loaned accounts, but not for sniping Iceberg. I just did it to play Dota as my main account was banned for 24 hours for griefing. I never sniped anyone, especially from the account named mlg. I have only one smurf with a 1700 rank on it. But I know that some people do sniping. Mostly boosters do it. They make $200-250 for each lost game. I know for sure that two players from the European ladder are doing it. They are SemaNoLove and smN.

Aleksandr "Sensibility" Filatov

Later, Denis "smN" Konshin approached me and provided proof that he also loaned his account to Sensibility. He said that Filatov played three games from his account and paid around $48 for each.

I never participated in sniping. I am connected to this only because I let Sensibility play from my account because I didn't know his intentions. I worked with him using the guarantor service and only provided the Steam Guard codes. He played three games on February 5 and paid 3500 rubles for each, from which I had 2000. I never communicated with him again, and it was the first and the last time I loaned my account to anybody.

Denis "smN" Konshin

Screenshot (in Russian)

  • smN: *sends the Steam Guard codes*
  • Sensibility: Could I pay for the next after this one, when we will destroy the throne? Also 3500
  • smN: Yes, the same UMoney
  • Sensibility: kk
  • smN: Write me when you pay
  • Sensibility: kk. I'm in the game now. But please don't tell anyone

SmN provided the activity log of his account. On February 5, there are three log-ins from St. Petersburg, where Sensibility lives. There is also one log-in from Kharkiv. SmN thinks that Sensibility shared his account with someone else.

I also gained the communication between Sensibility and the guarantor. Filatov said he sniped Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen from Evil Geniuses. EGB also had betting markets for his pubs.

Screenshot 1, Screenshot 2 (in Russian)

  • Sensibility: I want to play the next one with Cr1t.
  • The guarantor: 1 or 2?
  • Sensibility: Should I log in again? I don't know. If he turns off the stream, I will play one, you know. So it depends. Should I log in?

<...>

  • The guarantor: Will you play again?
  • Sensibility: Yes, I wrote to smN.
  • The guarantor: Enter the discord and send the money.
  • Sensibility: Did it.
  • The guarantor: And don't ruin like this. Make it not that hard.
  • Sensibility: WHAT? How did I ruin? We talk later.
Sensibility's transaction. The time is the same as in the communication.

Sensibility also told the guarantor that he got his EGB account banned and he was not able to withdraw $500 and provided the screenshot.

Your account is blocked. Contact the support service to learn more.

A couple of days later, the guarantor asked if Sensibility needed other high-MMR accounts. Filatov answered that he already got nine.

Screenshot (in Russian)

  • The guarantor: Hey. I got the account. 4000 rubles.
  • Sensibility: I can pay only 2500. I got a lot of offers.
  • The guarantor: No.
  • Sensibility: Everyone offers me. I got nine accounts already and don't need more.
  • The guarantor: The price is 4000 rubles. We will not lower it.

How much do they make?

Another person who lent his account for stream sniping told me that he was paid $12-25 for a loss and around $12 for a win. Another high-rank player got an offer to loan his account for 8000 rubles (around $100) per day. The stream snipers are ready to offer such a price because they earn a lot more.

Screenshot (in Russian)

I knew that they took my account to snipe Bogdan [Iceberg]. So I told them that I would not give it for such a ruin. Then, they offered me to buy it and pay 8000 rubles per day, but I refused. That's it.

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How does this affect Dota?

Extremely negative. Earlier, it was possible to participate in match-fixing only at the professional events on which bets are opened. And every fixed pro game is a risk because Valve bans such players for life. Now cheating players can participate in 322s even during pub games and get no punishment. Therefore, many players are getting used to cheating even before entering the pro scene. What would happen when some of them possibly reach tier one or tier two scenes? They might do the same but for more profit.

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What did change in two months?

Even before the initial investigation and all the comments from Sensibility and those who lend their accounts to Filatov, EGB reacted. On February 14, they stated that they were not going to quit such betting markets.

We watch every game and don't buy any data on ladder games, so we follow the bets. If some games are sniped, it is being noticed, and every bet on such games is being checked. After this, every account with suspicious actions is banned because it hurts players and ourselves. We are ready to increase control over such markets and co-operate with other bookmakers. However, we can quit such markets only after Dota 2 events are back.

EGB

But even in April, when DPC in five from six regions was in full play, EGB went on with such betting markets. And on April 30, they are still on. Perhaps, it is too profitable to quit, especially when they now understand how cheating players used the scheme in their favor.

Anyway, it is impossible to guarantee the 100% integrity of such games, and no streamer is safe from ruiners until such markets exist. Such betting markets should not exist.

Tags

Cr1t Cr1t

Iceberg Iceberg

Sensibility

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ICANT 2022-05-02 11:29:57

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