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Counter-Strike and Overwatch esports teams under investigation by Australian police

For match rigging and links to organised crime.

Earlier this year, the first major investigation into corruption in Australian esports revealed allegations of professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players rigging matches.

Last month, Kotaku Australia reported six Australians had been arrested in connection with the investigation, but were later released "pending further inquiries".

Now, an ABC News report has revealed an Australian Overwatch Contenders team has found itself under fire also.

Victoria Police's Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit is looking into claims the owner of the Contenders team was involved in organised crime, following reports of "betting anomalies" on the team's matches.

"There is no test of a fit and proper person to be engaged as an owner of an esports team," Victoria Police assistant commissioner Neil Paterson said.

"We are seeing people encroach on that area that have reputations that [mean they] probably... shouldn't be involved in this part of esports. I could absolutely guarantee that this wouldn't be the only [alleged] incidence of match fixing or betting anomalies on esports environments in the Australian market."

Considering the size of the prize pools for competitive events such as those held by Fortnite and DOTA, it's perhaps unsurprising that corruption investigations like these are beginning to surface.

ABC went on to hear from esports integrity commissioner Ian Smith, who said: "[Esports] has had a significant impact worldwide. The fact people can be arrested for this stuff has elevated the... seriousness with which anyone is regarding this issue."

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About the Author
Imogen Beckhelling avatar

Imogen Beckhelling


Imogen was Eurogamer's reporter intern for 2019. She has an unhealthy obsession with indie roguelikes and has a cat named after her favourite animal crossing villager.

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