League of Legends
Call of Duty
According to police in Victoria, Australia, six men were arrested for match-fixing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Detectives from the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit and Organized Crime Intelligence Unit collaborated on the case. After receiving a tip in March about suspicious betting activity in a CSGO tournament, they executed warrants on properties this week.
Six arrested in Australia
“Esports is really an emerging sporting industry and with that will come the demand for betting availability on the outcomes of tournaments and matches,” said Neil Paterson, the Assistant Commissioner of the Victoria Police. “It’s important that police and other agencies within the law enforcement, gaming and betting industries continue to work together to target any suspicious activity.”
The information provided in the tip was from a betting agency. It was alleged that players were being arranged to throw their matches. These men were then using this information to place bets on those CSGO matches. At least five matches are known to have been impacted and over 20 bets were placed. Warrants were executed at three properties on Aug. 21 in Mill Park and South Morang. Two more were also executed at properties in Mount Eliza for the remaining two individuals.
The six men have been interviewed concerning “conduct(s) that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of event or event contingency, or use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes.” The offenses described above carry up to 10 years of imprisonment. The match-fixing investigation is still ongoing at the moment. The detectives are also continuing to work with betting agencies like Sportsbet for the matter.
Match fixing consequences
Attention all esports players:
Match fixing is serious. This is not the old days. There are a lot of worse things that can happen to you than being banned from a competition. In Australia, this offense carries a potential 10 year prison sentence. Please be smart. https://t.co/YFDup26n1P
— Bryce Blum (@esportslaw) August 23, 2019
ESG Law founding partner Bryce Blum also came forward to express concern over the matter. Match-fixing cases in esports can be seen in many games from CS:GO and League of Legends to StarCraft II. One of the most known incidents of it in esports is the iBUYPOWER scandal. This incident led to one of North America’s best teams being banned by Valve after members were found to have thrown matches for skin betting.
The names of the six men were not released with the Victoria Police press release. The police have also asked others with information to step forward and submit a confidential crime report on the Victoria Crime Stoppers website. With esports becoming more mainstream, the consequences of these actions are no longer just a timeout for players. Players thinking about participating in such activities should carefully reflect before acting.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.