Zeus Gaming has been disqualified from the SEA Open Qualifiers. They are a Chinese team that were inappropriately competing for a SEA slot. WG Unity will face off against 4SGK in a BO3 to determine the team that moves on to the SEA closed qualifiers.— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) December 2, 2018
It’s not been a good week for the Dota 2 scene with regards to qualifiers, with more controversy arising. Another team has been kicked from a qualifier for region-based reasons, after Quinn 'CCnC' Callahan's test 123 side were removed from South America qualifiers for The Chongqing Major.
Despite having taken part in SEA events previously, Zeus were deemed to have played the Open Qualifier from outside the region — the expulsion coming AFTER they had qualified for the Closed Qualifier.
This came after statistician Ben "Noxville" Steenhuisen had spoken out on social media, as well as several posts on Reddit about the matter:
Done some more digging. They have different nationalities on the Faceit signup page to their Liquipedia profiles.— Ben Steenhuisen (@followNoxville) December 2, 2018
Most of them have hidden profiles, so you can't see their regions but 3/5 of them have substantial # Chinese games on before their accounts went dark.
At least in the case of the Chongqing SA Qualifiers, the impact of the eliminated team was somewhat mitigated given how Thunder Predator got knocked out in 3rd place.— Ben Steenhuisen (@followNoxville) December 2, 2018
In this case it's more difficult: 4SGK and WG.Unity both got knocked out by Zeus Gaming.
Initially, it was thought that the side had clearance to play in SEA Qualifiers, given their past experience and the belief that the team were residing in the region. However, this now seems not to have been the case, and Valve moved to act.
Zeus having played from China appears to have been confirmed by Singapore-based caster Sean “Hades” Goh” in reply to Noxville’s post:
Can confirm all are based in China. They were looking for a manager based in SEA a few months ago.— Sean 'Hades' Goh (@HadesDotaTv) December 2, 2018
However, he was also confused by the matter:
I am very confused about this, i literally just found out a while ago Zeus Gaming were approved by Valve and there is evidence to prove this. Or did they forge an email? https://t.co/BQLDDYctm0— Sean 'Hades' Goh (@HadesDotaTv) December 2, 2018
Organisers PGL have so far been silent regarding the expulsion. Judging by community sentiment, this appears to be another unnecessary scandal brought on by the lack of a detailed ruleset and transparency from Valve.
What do you make of the latest drama?
Header image: PGL