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Things Keep Getting Worse For Counter Strike: Global Operations

On Jan. 22, 2021, ESIC, the Esports Integrity Commision, released an updated investigation report on the Australian Counter Strike: Global Offensive league, finding 35 additional pro players responsible for unethical betting practices. This report came after the first findings released on Oct. 23, 2020, when seven players were banned from pro gameplay for 12 months. Now, two of those players have received harsher sanctions.


The ESIC has been investigating the problematic betting that's been occurring in the CS:GO leagues across the world. According to the most recent report, the group is sanctioning players for betting in pro games, including matches they play. This includes betting against one's own team, which received harsher sanctions because of ethical issues. For example, if a player is making money playing the game and also making money losing the game, then the player can choose to throw the game in a discrete way.

The report breaks down exactly how each sanction was dished out. Players with a sanction of 48 months were discovered betting against their own team, and players with a sanction of 60 months bet against their own team over 10 times. ESIC pointed out that these ongoing investigations exist "for the purpose of protecting the industry against bad actors who wish to exploit the industry for personal gain." The group stressed that, without ethical matches and players, the esports industry won't last or be taken seriously. It also pointed out that "the presence of any form of match manipulation or corrupt behaviour is of serious concern to the safety of youth who form a considerable proportion of participants in the industry globally."


It's not like pro players didn't know they weren't allowed to bet in pro games. The ESIC clearly outlined the ethical issues that stem from betting in Article 2.2 of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code. ESIC sanctions don't cover all tournaments though, and the group asked tournaments that aren't tied to ESIC to respect the sanctions at the end of the report.

This is all happening in the Australian CS:GO leagues, but the ESIC explained that the investigation is still in progress in NA leagues, European leagues, and other leagues around the world. ESIC is also investigating reports of match-fixing, meaning that games had predetermined outcomes before anyone ever played (i.e. making the games fake and players holding back). CS:GO has had problems in the past with pro players, and this report helps Valve protect its game from its persistent trouble with cheaters.