JJ Lin's team disqualified from The International Dota 2 tournament in S'pore, admits 'lapse in judgment'

Singapore players "iceiceice" and "poloson" will not be taking part in the qualifiers.

Zi Shan Kow | September 03, 2022, 01:08 PM

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E-sports organisation Team SMG has been disqualified from the upcoming regional qualifiers for this year's Dota 2 world championship tournament.

"Unfortunate situation"

Malaysia-based Team SMG, founded by Singapore pop star JJ Lin, was supposed to play in The International 11 (TI11) regional qualifier for Southeast Asia.

However, the team ended up getting disqualified.

In a statement on Facebook, the organisation said there were several reasons for the "unfortunate situation".

This included a communication breakdown between the team manager and players as well as the late confirmation of the finalised Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) roster.

The organisation also apologised to the players, especially to Singaporean players Daryl "iceiceice" Koh Pei Xiang and Wilson "poloson" Koh who had hoped to play in front of their home crowd.

The two players recently joined the team in August 2022.

Veteran "iceiceice" is Singapore's most successful e-sports player and Singapore's first e-sports millionaire.

He seems to have taken the news in stride, as he was filmed giving out flyers at Aftershock PC's Comex booth at Suntec as a gag after it was reported that Team SMG was disqualified.

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A post shared by Aftershock PC (@aftershockpc)

Appeal rejected

Team SMG added that they appealed to Dota 2 developer Valve following their disqualification. The appeal was rejected.

In the statement, the organisation accepted responsibility for the error:

"We accept full responsibility for what has happened and our lapse in judgement that caused our disqualification. After discussion, both the players and the management have acknowledged that there were mistakes that could have been avoided, but have come to terms with the situation."

The organisation said it will be more disciplined and professional in the future.

CEO steps down

The statement announced that Team SMG's CEO Kenchi Yap will be stepping down.

An interim CEO will be appointed.

The organisation also said updates regarding the future of its Dota 2 Division for DPC 2023 will be made at a later date.

This is the first time that The International Dota 2 championship finals will be held in Singapore.

It will take place at Suntec and the Singapore Indoor Stadium in October 2022.

A previous edition of the tournament had a prize pool of over US$40 million.


Top images via Team SMG/FB.