ESIC North American Match-Fixing Investigation Leads to CSGO Bans
The ESIC has been working hard on an investigation into CSGO’s North American scene, leading to bans for match-fixing. There aren’t as many people being punished as one might think. Three players were punished at this time, and there are 34 additional investigations going on. That means those players might be punished later, or it could be to see if those other parties are actually innocent. This one goes deep though. How deep? The ESIC noted they observed “compelling evidence that suggests that [sic] organised crime groups and foreign betting syndicates were involved” in these events. It’s a start, that’s for sure. ESIC takes this kind of thing very seriously, and perhaps we’ll see more match-fixing bans in CSGO before it’s all said and done.
Not Just Match-Fixing For Some:
Two players wound up with five-year bans for match-fixing attempts in CSGO, according to the ESIC. Some of this may sound familiar. Back in April, we covered some CSGO pros being banned for match-fixing. In this instance, a recording and transcript were handed to ESIC about match-fixing in CSGO, which did lead to several bans. This involved a team, “Russian Canadians” and “Rebirth”. The conversation in question had three members of the team Rebirth and a pair of players on Russian Canadians. There was a conspiracy to fix the outcome, and that was what we discussed back in April.
This was evident in a larger investigation, according to ESIC. Multiple players and teams were associated with this conspiracy, and ESIC were cooperating with law enforcement and other stakeholders. Due to the nature of this problem, it was decided to treat it as a separate, but related investigation into the recording and those involved.
The ESIC had this to say in their statement:
“ESIC has issued Notices of Charge against the following individuals for breaches of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code and sanctioned each with the suspension from all ESIC member events for the period specified in each case.”
This means the following players cannot play in ESL, ESEA, DreamHack, WePlay, BLAST, LVP, Nodwin, Eden, Relog, UCC, Allied, Kronoverse, Estars, and 247 Leagues. That is a lot of CSGO they can’t play in anymore.
Sebastian “retch” Tropiano was banned for 5 years and will end on April 1st, 2026. Kevin, “4pack” Przypasniak (AKA: Yugorov Prezpasniak) also received a 5-year ban, ending on the same date. Finally, Carson “nosraC” O’Reilly received a 111-day ban, so theirs ended on July 22nd, 2021 (and thus, the ban is served). ESIC discussed in their further notes why Carson received a lighter sentence as well. They only appeared in one inconclusive sentence in the audio recording. So the issue with him is he did not disclose to the ESIC that he had knowledge of persons attempting to commit match-fixing in CSGO, so he was the weakest of the bans.
As far as the other two, ESIC stated that they were also found to have been involved in other undisclosed violations. It’s also interesting to note that two other people named in the recording, Alex “vek” Voynov and David “j0LZ” Jolin are not as of yet charged with anything. They had a temporary ban from ESEA, but there is no further action taken. They’re free to continue playing. This investigation isn’t over yet, not by any stretch:
“ESIC [sic] emphasises that the remainder of the larger investigation is ongoing and the outcomes announced in this release may not be the final outcome for the various participants mentioned.”
Things could definitely change as the months go on. Not everyone is going to be sated by the decision. This is because it’s taken such a long time to get any answers or outcomes of the investigation. They did say something about that, as we discussed above:
“Most pertinent to the complications faced and the length of this investigation is 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.”
Since there is reportedly organized crime involved, both domestic and foreign, there are no doubt other entities that are involved in the investigation. This could certainly explain what is taking so long. At least they’re being transparent about all investigations. You can find it here if you’re curious. Such an important investigation will surely take time. It could also have huge, lasting effects on both CSGO and Valorant, especially if we see players that jumped from CSGO and into Valorant were guilty of match-fixing. We’ll keep you up to date as this develops.