Dota 2 Player xannii Reveals The Dark Side Of Esports – Match Fixing

26 Aug 2023
Tit Krajnik 26 Aug 2023
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  • Xannii, ex-member of Team Empire, confesses to match-fixing due to his economic strife
  • He agreed to purposely lose games in exchange for $4,500
  • Coerced into further match-fixing, Xannii decided to confess and protect himself from future threats
Dota 2
Dota 2 (Getty Images)
In an unexpected confession, Arslan “xannii” Shadzhanov talked about his past as a Dota 2 player, a dark chapter from his career, sharing his involvement in match-fixing. The 22-year-old came clean about the incident, not fearing that this would most definitely end his career if proven that he is speaking the truth.

In his confession, xannii cited his financial struggles as the main reason behind his decision to get involved in match-fixing while he was a member of Team Empire, which competed in the Eastern European (EEU) Dota Pro Circuit.

Xannii shared his story of when he played for Team Empire, which is one of the largest and most prominent esports organisations in CIS and Dota 2 history. However, despite the organisation’s successful past, the Dota 2 team has fallen on hard times and has been mostly competing in lesser events over the years.

Team Empire’s lack of success also led to financial issues, as the organisation couldn’t afford to pay its players, including xannii, who stated that he wasn’t paid anything for playing for the team.

“From the spring of 2021, when we did not qualify for DPC with VP.Prodigy, and until the summer of 2022 I did not earn anything from Dota.”

Having not earned anything from playing Dota 2 professionally, xannii found himself in financial problems and had to borrow money from other people to put a roof over his head. Due to having no money, xannii had to move in with his relatives; however, as time went by, his situation didn’t improve.

Eventually, xannii started to have doubts about his career as a professional Dota 2 player, which led him to take the offer of $4,500 to purposely lose three games. However, he confirmed that he was alone in this decision, which relieves his former teammates from any involvement – allegedly.

After accepting the deal, xannii was given some tasks, including pausing the game and claiming he was “lagging”, which would make his poorer performances more believable. Moreover, xannii was tasked to disconnect from the match and not come back, leaving his team to fight 4v5.

This didn’t last for long as Team Empire players quickly figured out something wasn’t right, leading to xannii getting benched.

Upon leaving Team Empire in August 2022, xannii stepped away from competitive Dota 2 for four months before returning to play with HF, and he later joined IVY. But even after his return to pro play, xannii got messaged again to match fix, this time receiving threats that he would be exposed if he refused.

This ultimately led xannii to come clean about the dark chapter of his past as a Dota 2 player so no one could hold it against him again. Revealing his involvement in match-fixing puts xannii’s Dota 2 career in jeopardy. Still, as stated by the 22-year-old, he prefers to get permanently banned from Valve events and have a clear conscience than the other way around.