- ESIC has issued two more bans to CS:GO players who the organization claims have been involved in match-fixing
- ESIC took a long time to investigate the matter involving some 39 people but has only made progress on 9 cases so far
- Match-fixing has been a serious issue in CS:GO but thanks to ESIC's efforts, the threat is finally adequately addressed
Two more bans have been handed in the ESEA North American League case that involves some 39 people.
Esports Integrity Commission Continues Match-Fixing Investigations
ESIC continues to battle match-fixing offenses in esports with a particular focus on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The game has been one of the longest-standing competitive shooters in the esports scene and for the longest time, it has been associated with underhand practices. The FBI and Australian authorities have even looked into the matter closer.
However, the Esports Integrity Commission has really brought most of these practices to light, seeking accountability from suspected wrongdoers. In the case of the ESEA League, a total of 39 people have been put under investigation.
Three people involved in alleged match-fixing attempts were issued bans that have already expired with the ESEA League green lighting their return. Players Alex “vek” Voynov and David “J0LZ” Jolin has been among those slapped on the wrists and they have been cleared for play.
Another player, Carson “nosraC” O'Reilly, had to serve a 111-day ban in the matter but he has since been restored to all competitive events with ESEA and ESIC's blessings. None of these players were actually accused of attempting to match-fixed, in what was ill-defined wording that suggested that they may have known about ongoing match-fixing attempts.
However, in the case of Sebastian “retchy” Tropiano and Kevin “4pack” Przypasniak, ESIC has determined that the duo have been directly involved in trying to fix games in the ESEA North American League.
Handing Down Stiff Penalties – Players May Appeal
As a result, the organization has issued five-year bans to both players. These bans, though, can be challenged. Otherwise, the players will have to serve out the prohibition to participate in a number of top-tier events, including ESL, DreamHack, WePlay, BLAST, and others. The bans ends in 2026, which could effectively mean that the ESIC has delivered an end-of-career decision.
Another 34 people are still being investigated in what many have complained has been one of ESIC's slowest addressing of matters so far. The organization replied that the nature of the offense required a much more thorough approach.
In an official Twitter statement, ESIC explained: “It's ESIC's observation of compelling evidence that suggests that organized crime groups and foreign betting syndicates were involved in fraudulent activities during the course of season 35 of the ESEA Premier: North America.”
ESIC has somewhat acknowledged that it may have acted too slowly in the matter, however, and has launched the so-called Transparency Initiative, which should provide more insight into how the organization works and what matters are being investigated at any given time.
ESIC has been wrong before, but the organization has learned from its mistakes and is now trying to ensure that its rulings are fair and focused. However, if retchy and 4pack believe they have been accused of something they have not committed, they should definitely stand their ground in the matter and push back.
ESIC has been a positive force in maintaining the industry's good name, but it's not infallible. Previously, the organization vehemently denied any claims that it's “serving the betting industry” and said that its only commitment was to upholding the safety and integrity of competitive video gaming.