Match fixing, Twitter drama, coronavirus… and more esports stories from the week

Did you miss anything from the last week in esports? Swamped with work or school? Busy looking forward to the coming of the summer that you forgot about esports? VPEsports’ Stories from the Week brings you all the biggest headlines you might have missed.

Nigma reverse-sweep Secret to win WePlay! Tug of War

After almost a year-long drought of no tournament wins and scarce DPC points that’s putting their TI future in question, Nigma finally won an event this Sunday at the WePlay! Tug of War tournament. The squad behind KuroKy almost missed that one too after Team Secret led 2-0 in the grand finals, but the legendary captain rallied his troop for an epic comeback. Nigma tied at 2-2 in less than an hour of play time and broke down an unconvincing and hesitant Secret in the deciding game 5.

Winning WePlay! still doesn’t solve Nigma’s dirt poor DPC points active, however, as the team won’t be present at neither the StarLadder Minor, nor the ESL LA Major, leaving them very little time to try and qualify for TI.

HuomaoTV employee fired for match fixing

Days after the match fixing suspicions of the match between Avengerls and Newbee (read story below) from the Major/Minor qualifiers, HuomaoTV confirmed that one of their employees did engage in match-fixing attempt — only in a different tournament altogether. One Xiaotian Xu was cited to have contacted forZe Esports in attempt to solicit them into match fixing a game in the Arena of Blood.

Xu has since been fired, but Huomao remained on whether he was also potentially involved in the Avengerls/Newbee case.

SneyKing and EternaLEnVy leave the team they founded

Dota 2 team Fighting PandaS was left without both its founding members EnternaLEnVy and Sneyking just one week before the StarLadder Minor. According to support player MoonMeander, the team also found out about EE’s and Sneyking’s decision the day EternaLEnVy announced it on Twitter. MoonMeander stated that him, bryle and Aui_2000 will stay together.

The PandaS will play with stand-ins skiter and KheZu on the 1 and 3 positions, respectively.

Avengerls, Newbee suspected of match fixing

Chinese teams Avengerls and Newbee came under suspicion for match fixing after Avengerls’ questionable behavior in the closed qualifiers for the StarLadder Minor. After racking up a huge gold lead ahead, Avengerls players started making plays that even a Dota newbee would consider bad.

Botched Chronospheres and intentional one-by-one feeding led the community suspect that something fishy is going on. Newbee made several Weibo posts explaining the situation, but nobody is clear of suspicion just yet. No official word from any investigation has been issued so far.

ESL says Pro League partners “certainly incentivized” to pick ESL events

In an interview with Ukrainian esports site, ESL VP of Pro Gaming Carmac explained that while there’s no hard exclusivity to their ESL Pro League, partnered teams are “certainly incentivized” to pick ESL events.

“Whatever choices are in front of them are theirs to make,” Carmac said.

ESL Pro League announced last Tuesday an impressive list with partnered teams, including all of the top 10 teams in HLTV’s world ranking. Teams-wise at least, the Pro League has for now won the competition against the rival FLASHPOINT league, but the battle of these products is yet to develop throughout the year.

Twitter drama erupts between Thorin and Astralis CEO

Esports journalist and FLASHPOINT creative director Thorin called out Astralis in an HLTV interview, calling the team “the worst offender” in regards to partnership negotiations between CS:GO teams, FLASHPOINT, and ESL’s Pro League.

“I actually don’t believe they were actually genuine or authentic about wanting to be in this particular league, I think they tried to get all the info they could and that, cleverly, for their own interest, they played both of the leagues against each other to try to get the best offer they could,” Thorin stated.

This prompted a response from Astralis founder and CEO Nikolaj Nyholm, who implied Thorin was lying, quoting an unnamed FLASHPOINT exect who has allegedly called the journalist “an unstable and deeply troubled character”.

The drama prompted more responses from Thorin, as well as journalist Richard Lewis, who reminded the community about Nyholm’s untrustworthy history in the scene.

Ninjas in Pyjamas considering return to League of Legends

Storied esports brand Ninjas in Pyjamas are considering a return to League of Legends, org’s COO Jonas Gundersen confirmed last Thursday. NiP did not say which region they’d be approaching and whether they want to have a presence on the major or local scenes, so the future of the org in LoL remains uncertain.

While NiP have never stood atop the LoL scene, the org did jump-start the careers of such names as Bjergsen, Deficio, and Svenskeren, and a return to League is certainly an exciting prospect.

LPL announces online scrim league during coronavirus hiatus

China’s LPL remains on indefinite hiatus due to coronavirus concerns, but the league has at least promised to provide some content. Starting this Wednesday, the LPL will host an online scrim league with some of the teams in the tournament to appease game-hungry fans. Top Esports, JD Gaming, eStar, Suning, and Victory 5 have so far confirmed their participation.

Regardless, there is still no news when the true LPL will return. Even though coronavirus’ spread has slowed down somewhat, health hazards are still high in China and especially in the Hubei province, from where the virus originally spread.

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