Ebene Magazine – ESIC says they are working with the FBI in the fight against CSGO match-fixing

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As the sport grows into bigger business, it begins to grapple with the problems that more mainstream sports are facing. These include betting and match-fixing scandals. The Esports Integrity Commission commissioner says they are now working with law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, to tackle the problem in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

ESIC Commissioner Ian Smith recently spoke in an interview with CS: GO YouTuber slash32 about progress in fixing match-fixing:

Smith begins by saying that her investigation into match fixing in sports can be divided into two parts. In the first case, ESIC examines the players themselves and takes action against them. Smith is « optimistic » that they will soon go public with evidence of match fixing against a group of players whom they intend to ban for a « very, very long time ».  »

However, according to Smith, this is part of a much broader investigation into more serious organized match-fixing in the North American MDL. « It’s a lot more serious in North America. What I would call classic match fixing, » says Smith. « In other words, it’s players who are bribed by outside betting syndicates to fix games, rather than players who opportunistically do it on their own. It takes longer, it’s much more organized. We work to a certain extent with law enforcement with the FBI, which recently had a sports betting investigative division within the FBI.  »

The North American MDL, which stands for Mountain Dew League, is an amateur CSGO competition that was launched by the ESL and ESEA and offers qualification for the ESL Pro League. Since Smith’s interview above, a recording of a group of players discussing the manipulation of the outcome of two ESEA Premier games has been leaked on the Dust.us website. The ESEA then announced the suspension of five players while the investigation was ongoing.

The tape may be part of the evidence Smith referred to in the interview above when speaking of his own match-fixing investigations. « We have a very focused investigation where we have really, really good corroborative evidence from Discord, various chat log screenshots, and player records that we’re going to ban for a very, very long time, » he said.

« The first part gets done pretty quickly because we’re basically dealing with idiots. » The larger investigations, which they also work with the Australian police on, take longer due to the involvement of law enforcement agencies.

The Esports Integrity Commission was established in 2016 « to take responsibility for the disruption, prevention, investigation and prosecution of all forms of esports fraud, including but not limited to match-fixing and doping. » Its membership includes many of the top sporting event operators, including ESL and its subsidiary Dreamhack.

Graham Smith

Editor-in-chief

Graham is to blame for all of this.

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