The Lima Major crowd whistles could tamper the integrity of games.
During the Playoffs of the Lima Major, spectators noticed loud whistles from the crowd that can be heard during Smokes. It is a blatant way to help teams cheat their way out of a Smoke encounter. This can tamper with the integrity of games at the Lima Major. Many people in the community including team members, casters, and talents have called out the whistles from the Lima Major crowd.
Crowd whistles during Smoke plays occur repeatedly
Lima Major is the first-ever Dota 2 Major in South America. It features mainly the Peruvian crowd in the Arena 1 stadium, who has shown their immense passion for the game. Their loud cheers, chants, and even drums can be heard across the venue. The crowd goes especially wild when it comes to the home favorites and the final SA representative, Evil Geniuses.
But at certain points in EG games (regardless of the opponent), the crowd would whistle loudly whenever the opposing team uses Smoke. This was a blatant attempt to alert Evil Geniuses of their opponent's moves. The Lima Major crowd would also sometimes whistle to help other teams that they were rooting for.
In the clip below, the whistles were audible once Team Aster used Smoke while staying in their base.
It happened again when Team Aster used Smoke and headed to EG's area.
And again when they used Smoke to defend a tier 2 tower.
These were all clips during the EG vs Team Aster elimination series. The aftermath of the game sees EG win 2-1. This does not mean that EG's victory was solely from the crowd whistles, but it is one factor that could've affected the games.
It doesn't help when pros admit that they can hear the whistles from inside the booth.
Pros talk about the crowd whistles
This matter was mentioned in an interview with the captain of Shopify Rebellion, Tal "Fly" Aizik. After the NA team won against EG and eliminated the home favorites, he talked about their preparations. Fly said that SR discussed the Smoke whistles and mentally prepared for that. This indirectly confirms that players in the booth can hear the whistles from the crowd, though it is unclear to what capacity.
"We knew when we were going to play this matchup against them (EG), the crowd is going to be chanting for them, they are gonna make noises, sometimes they would whistle when they Smoke. So we actually talked a little bit about it before we entered the match - we were preparing mentally that there was going to be a lot of noise and we're gonna have to stay composed," said Fly.
TI11 champion and the captain of Tundra Esports, Wu "Sneyking" Jingjun, also talked about the crowd whistles. He stated that the issue with the Lima Major setup might not be the headphones, but the microphones. While the headphones might have "industrial grade noise canceling", the microphones are not and they could pick up loud noises from outside the booth.
He then stated that the crowd sounds can possibly be heard depending on the player's microphone setting.
Talents and personalities highlight the issue
Caster, Shannon "SUNSfan" Scotten, called out the whistles from the crowd, calling it an "embarrassment".
The Program Development lead of Shopify Rebellion, Dario Wunsch, also talked about the crowd whistles and requested for the crowd not to give SR any "unsportsmanlike advantage".