After ESL and BTS have both banned coaches for exploiting a spectator bug to cheat in CS:GO, ESIC has announced that its ongoing match-fixing investigation in the esport has turned up 15 cases which it considers “to be of significant concern for the industry.” These investigations are yet to be concluded, and while they might not all result in guilty verdicts, the sheer number of them is cause for alarm.
The investigations began 18 months ago, and were triggered by “suspicious bet alerts through [ESIC’s] global integrity monitoring framework.” Investigations of this nature are complicated and often slow moving, as the betting patterns can be both difficult to trace and to source, while deliberate actions on behalf of the players can be difficult to prove.
The investigation has centred around the MDL tournament series, ran by ESL subsidiary ESEA.
At the start of the investigation, the ESIC stressed the matter would “take significant time, effort and resources to complete in an appropriate manner.” Now, it appears the investigation is moving ahead with purpose.
ESIC confirmed it has now entered the final stages of the investigation, and expects to issue a formal statement on its findings within the next four weeks, “subject to complications that may arise”.
As part of the investigation, the ESIC has established clear links between the suspicious betting patterns, the people placing those bets, and the players and teams who may be involved in this match manipulation.
Following the CS:GO coaching cheat scandal, the ESIC finding “insufficient evidence” of players involved in that scandal – as opposed to finding that players were categorically not involved – and this investigation set to conclude soon, CS:GO has had a run of bad press. Fans will be hoping the esport can move forward from these scandals quickly.