With the Bali Major coming to a close and bringing the regular season of the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit with it, BetBoom Team may have gotten a lucky break despite dealing with a huge controversy during the tournament. The Eastern European’s team placement at the event might be enough to lock up the final invite to The International in Oct. 2023—but their hopes depend on one final statement from Valve.
Heading into Bali, BetBoom was close to claiming an invite to TI12 thanks to several strong regional league performances, and once the team made the upper bracket playoffs, that ticket looked punched. During that run, however, their near-guarantee was pulled away after one of the team’s players, Pure, broke a long-standing rule during a live match.
While playing their first upper bracker playoff series against Tundra Esports, Pure was caught tabbing out of the game and watching a third-party live stream of the tournament. This happened during a long pause in the middle of game two and BetBoom was handed a default loss by the tournament organizers shortly after—even after winning the series 2-0.
Citing “information abuse” via the use of external sources, as listed in the tournament’s rulebook, IO Esports and Epulze also disqualified Pure for the remainder of the event. BetBoom played one additional series with Resolut1on standing in before being eliminated by Azure Ray.
BetBoom did reveal more information about the incident in a recent blog, stating the team was originally given a third-level draft penalty for their would-be series against Team Liquid, but it was upgraded to a default loss after hours of additional deliberation. The team even notes Tundra was supportive of BetBoom’s pushback, but claims organizers threatened Tundra with their own default loss if they protested by not playing the next round.
The organization also acknowledged that Pure broke the rules, but is against the harsh standing for a few seconds of tabbing out of the game. It wouldn’t be the first time these organizers were criticized for their handling of a decision during this event either.
That entire saga cost BetBoom their TI invite at the time, but the rest of the results went their way, giving them one last chance at Dota’s biggest stage.
As it stands now, Team Liquid ending Quest Esports’ miracle tournament run in fourth place has put BetBoom in the lead for the 12th and final direct invite to TI, based on total DPC Point earnings throughout the season according to Liquipedia. BetBoom has 760 DPC Points on the season, 20 points ahead of Execration for the last TI invite.
Pure’s actions during the tournament have currently only been addressed by the tournament organizers for the Bali Major. Valve has yet to make a statement, which means the entire incident is very likely under investigation internally.
If Valve finds that the punishment levied by IO and Epulze was not enough for such a blatant breach of tournament conduct, Pure could end up disqualified from the remainder of the DPC season, meaning he would be unable to attend TI at all. And, if BetBoom has to replace him in an official capacity, the team might be forced to eat a DPC Point penalty.
Should that happen, BetBoom would lose just enough points to drop under Execration based on point deductions, leaving them to field a stand-in and play through EEU TI qualifiers.
This could is all up in the air even without the Pure investigation too, since the official Valve page DPC standings show Bleed Esports, Execration, and Nouns Esports all having a higher number of points than other charts. Valve has been criticized for its poor handling of these standings in the past, so we will likely have to wait until the Major is over and judge based on the final results.