Six criminals were arrested after suspicion of engaging in illegal CS: GO tournament betting. The arrests took place in Victoria, Australia, from August 21 to 23. All suspects are under 23 years old. Some of them were arrested, interrogated and then released. Meanwhile others are still under investigation and could face up to 10 years in prison. Their identities were not revealed by the Victoria police.
According to local police, investigations began in March this year, when a gambling agency warned that players were engaged in “match fixing”. This practice is prohibited by the game developer. Since the teams bet on their own defeat and lose on purpose to win money. In all, at least five games were affected by this betting and 20 bets were played out in favor of the charged party. But the authorities didn’t disclose the name of the team and the players.
eSports is a serious business
All the arrests took place in Victoria State, Australia. According to an assistant police commissioner, this was the first such case to take place in the region. In addition, he said that this case will serve as an example to the world that eSports is no joke to the authorities. Bookmakers, such as Sportsbets, continue to work alongside the authorities on the issue.
This is not the first case of CS: GO betting scandal. In 2014, players from a US team called iBuyPower purposely lost to a team called NetcodeGuides to cash in on bets. There were no arrests at the time, but several players involved were banned from official Valve competitions.
CS: GO is familiar to match fixing
The iBuyPower squad was a strong favorite to win the game, but they shockingly lost by a: 16-4 margin. The unexpected defeat generated suspicion and rumors that the match had been lost on purpose. The organization was found guilty in January 2015 after months of investigations.
The rumors were verified by journalist Richard Lewis in January 2015. Lewis worked on a CS: GO betting site. He published an article with evidence that most iBuyPower players had bet against their own team and lost on purpose. As investigations continued, a new fact came to light: NetcodeGuides.com, was co-owned by Sam “DaZed” Marine, captain of iBuyPower. This made the scandal activity even more suspicious.
Verdict from Valve
At the end of January of the same year, Valve took matters into its own hands. Through the “Integrity and Fair Play” article, the company initially decided to Indefinitely ban all culprits. About a year later, in 2016, Valve released a second article and changed the ban status from “indefinitely” to “permanent”.
In July 2017, players had their punishments suspended from events organized by ESL and ESEA. In September of the same year, championship organizer DremHack followed the move and also released players to play in their tournaments.
Playing fair, reaching glory
Only one player from the old iBuyPower line up has not received any punishment. Tyler “Skadoodle” Lathamwas found innocent in the investigation. In 2018 he won his first Major, ELEAGUE Boston, with Cloud9.