- Team Akuma and its members' former CEO may be guilty of fraud, ESIC reports
- The team recently scored some surprising wins against Na'Vi and Virtus Pro
- ESIC can't take action at this time but suggests that Valve takes a look into the matter
ESIC advises Valve to take a look into CS:GO team Akuma's activity and their former CEO's suspicious betting behavior.
Akuma and Shyshko under Scrutiny
As Valve recently appealed to fans to report any suspicious behavior, The Esports Integrity Commission has pointed to Project X and Akuma, who may be guilty of match-fixing. According to the ESIC, Project X's CEO, Olexandr Shyshko (Alexander Shysko), has been placing bets on matches where the team was involved. This was revealed through the use of the Suspicious Betting Alert Network.
Project X disbanded in March, and three of the former players joined team Akuma which currently consists of the following players:
- Sergey “Sergiz” Atamanchuk (former Project X member)
- Alexandr “Psycho” Zlobin (former Project X member)
- Dmitriy “SENSEi” Shvorak (former Project X member)
- Sergiy “DemQQ” Demchenko
- Evgeniy “j3kie” Sergachev
Even after Project X was no more, Shyshko continued to bet on Akuma during their matches which boosted suspicions of match-fixing. However, SENSEi released a statement in Akuma's defense:
“None of Akuma/ex-Project X players were involved in betting on own matches,” the statement reads. “Also, we want to claim that we cannot be responsible for our ex-CEO of Project X Alexander Shysko's activities on betting websites. We are ready to cooperate with ESIC and provide all necessary information.”
Shyshko correctly predicted that Akuma would defeat the giants from Virtus Pro during the EPIC League in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Akuma proceeded to beat Natus Vincere as well with a 2-0 result. Because of Virtus and Na'Vi's popularity, many people suspected Akuma had used underhanded methods to score these victories. This belief was reinforced by the fact Akuma members were observing the game radar a bit too often, sparking suspicion of the involvement of a third party that revealed the opponents' positions.
As a result, fourteen teams demanded Valve to take a look into Akuma. However, Epic Esports Events and the Russian Esports Federation didn't find any signs of foul play.
ESIC Advises Valve to be Vigilant
ESIC wasn't a part of the EPIC League and therefore can't take any action. Instead, the commission advised Valve to take action instead and reject Akuma and associates of Shyshko from officially licensed events until an investigation is conducted.
Commissioner Ian Smith explained:
“While ESIC has not undertaken a full investigation into the detail, extent, and validity of any particular instances of match-fixing behavior and the perpetrators of such behavior – information on hand would indicate that this is a matter worth investigating further. If ESIC did have jurisdiction, we would have opened a full investigation based on what we already know. ESIC has therefore referred the evidence available to us to Valve for further consideration.”
Unless Valve decides otherwise, ESIC can't take action and will instead give advice from the sidelines.
As match-fixing is a prevailing issue in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports community, it is understandable why many people are so suspicious. We are yet to see whether Valve will uncover signs of fraud in Akuma's activity.