The implications of Pure’s stream-sniping shenanigan
The second day of the Bali Major playoffs was welcomed with a booming, explosive issue. Russian player Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko, currently playing as the offlaner for European team BetBoom Esports, was allegedly caught watching a livestream of their game during a long pause. The issue caused a ruckus online, with several people calling for the ban of the Russian player. This was not the first time that the Russian player was caught under fire. Last year, he caught the public’s ire after writing a pro-Russian symbol during a pause. The incident occurred in the middle of the heated Ukraine-Russia conflict.
The team faced off with fellow European team Tundra Esports during the first day of the Bali Major playoffs. A long pause was held during game two, with Tundra Esports experiencing some connectivity issues on their end. It was also during this time that Pure was allegedly watching former HellRaisers player Aleksandr “Nix” Levin’s live stream. The allegations surfaced after video proof of the act was uploaded by user @_koozya on Twitter. The video is a clip from the live broadcast of the Bali Major, showing Pure’s screen from a side view.
Pure watched Nix’s stream during yesterday’s game vs Tundra, which is strictly prohibited by rules.FEATURED STORIES
UP TO DISQUALIFICATION.
Yet, 9Pandas’ CSO Inverno says 33 did the same and Liquid even left their room during pauses.
Yo, admins, where you at? pic.twitter.com/3T7hHE1mOZ
— Arseny Kuzminsky (@_koozya) July 6, 2023
This caused outrage online, with people going to Twitter to express their frustrations. Several issues popped up, including allegations of Team Liquid players allegedly leaving their quarters in the middle of a pause.
We didn’t leave the room during a pause I have no idea how this rumor got started or why it’s being spread, open to people checking hotel security cams to prove people wrong thx
— William (@Blitz_DotA) July 6, 2023
However, those allegations were shut down by Liquid Dota 2 coach William “Blitz” Lee. He said that the team never left the area and that the allegations only bring harm to the team’s name.
Valve would eventually react to the issue, giving BetBoom an automatic loss and sending them to the lower bracket. Another issue would arise once they got there, however. Chinese team Azure Ray said that they would only play against the European team if Pure wasn’t in their roster. BetBoom responded and instead went into the game with Roman “Resolut1on” Fomynok, who is one of the main panelists for the Bali Major.
BetBoom were then eliminated by Azure Ray, knocking them out of the Bali Major. However, fans were still discontent with the punishment given to the team and to Pure.
A historical precedent
Valve isn’t a stranger to imposing punishments on stream-sniping players. In 2015, Peruvian team Union Gaming was disqualified from the Dota 2 Canada Cup Season 4 for stream-sniping during their quarterfinal match. The team originally won the series 2-1, much like in BetBoom and Tundra’s case. Their opponent, North American team Fire would proceed to the semifinals. Union Gaming were banned from participating in any further Canada Cup tournaments for the next six months.
With all this history of being harsh against cheaters, it would seem that the punishment issued on Pure and BetBoom was light. The team only managed to get away with their actions with an automatic loss and nothing else, while previous offenders were banned permanently. While harsh considering they just lost, a disqualification from Valve events would seem justified given the precedent of a previous stream-sniping issue.
Despite being at the center of a cheating issue, Pure and BetBoom Esports are yet to issue an official statement explaining the situation to the public. It is also unknown whether or not an internal punishment has been issued to Pure regarding his actions during the pause.
There is no official statement explaining why Pure was able to quickly alt-tab to Nix’s stream in the middle of the match, and whether or not the stream was up the whole time. These are all questions left unanswered until either BetBoom or Pure decides to speak up on the issue.
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