35 CS:GO players slapped with bans for betting offences

Luckrative. 

Whoops, turns out betting on your own CS:GO tournament matches will get you in a hell of a lot of trouble with the Esports Integrity Commission. Who knew?

The ESIC has today announced sanctions against 35 Australian CS:GO players who breached its Anti-Corruption Code, hot on the heels of the seven who received sanctions back in October 2020. Two players who were sanctioned last year have also had their bans extended.

Today's sanctions have been issued for players who bet on matches in ESIC member events, including on their own matches or their team's matches. The bans range from a "level one" 12-month ban for players who bet on matches, all the way up to a level five 60-month ban for aggravated betting against their own team. (You can find the full list of names and bans here).

"Sanctions issued in today's release are not for matching-fixing," the esports watchdog added. "However, ESIC is of the view that there is a high possibility that it will issue match-fixing charges arising from the ongoing investigations, potentially including against players sanctioned today."

The sanctions come near the end of a two-year investigation by the ESIC, which has been examining match-fixing in Australia, America and Europe for 24 months (via Dexerto). Things really could be about to get a lot worse for those involved, however, as in addition to the continuing investigations, the whole matter is being referred to law enforcement "for further investigation". The ESIC also detected collusive behaviour by "close associates" of the players involved who are not under ESIC jurisdiction. These third parties are being referred to law enforcement, and could get caught out for being in breach of criminal law.

The sanctions come near the end of a long investigation by the ESIC, which has been examining match-fixing in Australia, America and Europe for 24 months (via Dexerto).

"It is crucially important that professional players (at the very least) abstain from placing bets on the game from which they earn an income in order to preserve the integrity of the esports landscape internationally and mitigate the potential for bad actors to take advantage of our sport," the ESIC said in its official statement.

Back in September, 37 CS:GO coaches were given bans for exploiting a bug which allowed spectating players to have a birds-eye view of the map, thus giving their team an unfair advantage (via Dexerto). Seems like the ESIC really has its work cut out for it.

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Emma Kent

Emma Kent

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Emma was Eurogamer's summer intern in 2018 and we liked her so much we decided to keep her. Now a fully-fledged reporter, she loves asking difficult questions, smashing people at DDR and arguing about, well, everything.

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