Hacker Reveals Xiao8 Betting on Games While Coaching Teams
Earlier this week, we reported on screenshots posted by the ex-wife former professional Dota 2 player and current PSG.LGD coach Xiao8 asserting that the beloved Chinese Dota 2 figure had issues with gambling and infidelity, feeding into the already frustrated Chinese Dota 2’s fanbase and their fixation with a conspiracy that the grand final of TI10 was manipulated, insinuating the PSG.LGD somehow threw their match against Team Spirit, this year’s champions of The International. A new development regarding Xiao8 and his gambling history has come to light that may necessitate either the intervention of LGD Gaming or Valve due to the troubling history of bets Xiao8 has made within the last two years.
What’s important to note right now is that neither Valve or PSG.LGD have announced an official investigation looking into allegations of Xiao8 betting on professional games while having a conflict of interest. As of right now, the evidence shown and presented here cannot yet be verified as true yet, and all information given should be scrutinized prior to jumping to any major conclusions.
Xiao8 Bet Around $1 Million on Dota 2 Matches
Based on screenshots posted to Zhihu, Chinese’s Quora equivalent, an account supposedly owned by Xiao8 has been betting on Dota 2 events as early as 2019, mostly on matches between tier 2 teams in both China and CIS. However, some high-profile games were shown in these screenshots, particularly the games between PSG.LGD and OG during the upper bracket final of TI9. At this point in time, Xiao8 was coaching for EHOME, but would begin coaching PSG.LGD in mid-September of 2020.
Another screenshot revealed that Xiao8 bet on PSG.LGD vs. Elephant on the 12th of December, 2020. At this point in time, Xiao8 was already coaching the team and fully integrated in the Chinese Dota 2 scene. A grand total of 2444 betting orders were deployed from the znzn9966 account supposedly owned by Xiao8.
Looking at the bet histories and the match histories for the matches listed in the screenshots, Xiao8 mostly made losing bets on teams unaffiliated with himself and the LGD Gaming organization. However, as a long-standing veteran of the Chinese Dota 2 scene, the fact that he has actively been betting on games for some time shows a lack of professionalism at the least. Assuming that this account indeed belongs to Xiao8, it’s troubling to see someone who has influence on the mentalities and initiative of pro players being so beholden to gambling.
Why Xiao8’s Betting History Matters
The professional Dota 2 scene and community has issues with betting and match-fixing, especially in the smaller scenes of DPC lower division and in their tier 2 competitive community. Earlier this year, Valve banned Wind & Rain as well as Pecado Squad Gaming players from competing at all Valve Dota 2 events due to suspected match-fixing. Chinese organization Newbee and its roster were banned from all Valve and Perfect World Dota 2 events due to match-fixing as well. With Xiao8 showing little to no hesitation to bet on his own team while coaching it, it sets a bad precedent even if he didn’t encourage his players to purposefully lose against weaker opponents. Indeed, his betting history doesn’t reflect Xiao8 having any particular insights when he made his bets.
While simply betting on your own team and other teams in your space may seem rather benign, it does not reflect well on either Xiao8 or LGD Gaming, especially since Xiao8 may have insights that could give him an edge while betting that neither the bookmaker or the casual viewer has. It also does not express the level of professionalism the community expects from the staff of LGD Gaming.
As professional organizations look to restructure after TI10, we could possibly see the departure of Xiao8 from PSG.LGD due to this increased scrutiny from the Chinese community and the English-speaking community of Dota 2.
Even though everything cannot be verified at this time, it’s troubling to see what seems to be an evident gambling addiction that, if true, Xiao8 must be struggling to overcome.