The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has always focused on match-fixing when it comes to Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CSGO) and is known to be very common throughout the tournaments and leagues. Just last year seven CSGO players from Australia’s MDL (Mountain Dew League) were banned from competitive matches for 12 months after ESIC discovered they had broken the MDL tournament rules. While ESIC worked with local authorities in Australia to find these players, to combat match-fixing in the North American MDL ESIC has started working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Recently the ESIC integrity commissioner Ian Smith sat down with CSGO Youtuber ‘Slash32’ and discussed the steps being taken to counter match-fixing as well as the fact that the FBI itself has begun taking notice of the match-fixing going on in Esports and in turn has created a new sports betting investigation unit to investigate such issues. “We are, to some extent, working with law enforcement, working with the FBI, who only recently have had a sports betting investigative unit within the FBI,” Ian Smith explained in the interview.
Commissioner Smith has also come out and said that the match-fixing going on in North America is said to be much more systematic and much more serious as well. Along with the current investigation going on Riot itself has opened up their own separate investigation on Valorant players regarding match-fixing as well. While it is unknown how far Riot has come with their investigation as well as how they will handle players who are involved, what is known is that Riot will most probably be taking severe actions against any player who is found to have been taking part in such acts.
Smith also elaborates on the type of fixing going on explaining that rather than players being greedy and fixing matches to benefit themselves it’s more of outside betting syndicates that are fixing matches by approaching specific players and making offers to them to fix the match scores and results. ESIC while working with the FBI has found evidence of match-fixing and as Smith puts it “We have really really good corroborating evidence from Discord, from various chat logs, screenshots, and recordings of players, that we are going to ban for a very very long time.” Smith is optimistic about the evidence that they have and believes that they will be able to release their findings to the public in about two weeks’ time.