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The competitive Dota community was on fire Tuesday after team Alliance was accused of cheating in a Reddit thread after their most recent match in the EU DPC against Brame Esports. The accusations revolved around coach Peter “PPD” Dager, who was interacting with the team in a Discord call during their most recent vlog.

However, the team was within their rights to include their coach in-game, according to a rule change by tournament organizers ESL and DreamHack.

Cheating accusations against Alliance

Among other EU DPC players, OG’s Johan “N0tail” Sundstein was the first to speak out about the issue:

Apparently, the set of rule changes that allowed coaches to help their teams during live games was sent via email to all of the teams in the EU West and CIS regions, which are run by DreamHack and ESL ONE. The manager for one of the EU DPC Lower Division teams, No Bounty Hunter, posted details of the coaching rule changes in the Reddit thread where Alliance had been accused of cheating.

“Yes. ESL/DreamHack sent an e-mail to all teams at the start of the season (at least we (at no bountyhunter) received it),” wrote EDUARDDDDddddd, a member of the No Bounty Hunter staff.

No Bounty Hunter even posted a quote of the relevant parts of the email that DreamHack and ESL originally sent about the coaching rule changes:

“Some updates compared to previous season: We no longer have a rule that limits anyone, coach or otherwise, from interacting with the team during the live matches.”

While N0tail agreed that Alliance was not cheating and were simply using the rules to their advantage, he questioned the integrity of the entire situation in a tweet.


Wrongful accusations against Alliance reveal lack of communication

N0tail brought up two principles in his tweet: clarity and responsibility. The former, in particular, was lacking throughout the rule change situation and accusations against Alliance thereafter, as several teams were unaware of this change.

In the wake of several players speaking out (including a Twitlonger from Sebastien “Ceb” Debs and a set of tweets from Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling reacting to the event), Dreamhack and ESL have both released the same statement regarding the incident and rescinded the coaching rule change:

The released statement revealed that Valve hadn’t been fully informed of this new policy, and that the rule change to include coaches during game play has been reverted, as it doesn’t fall in line with Valve’s “stance on coaching.”

Regardless, it is now clear that Alliance was not at fault and had been wrongly accused of cheating. The team had simply been following the newly revised rules and using every advantage they had to win.

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