Five ESEA-Mountain Dew League Players Charged for CSGO Match-Fixing
I would like to go one week without having to type “match-fixing” into Google, I really would! But as long as it’s going down, we’re going to address it. This week, five individuals were charged in the first instance of esports match-fixing in Australia history, CSGO, or otherwise.
Match-Fixing Down Under
As the years go on in esports, people seem to think that cheating is going to get safer somehow. So in every game, we see match-fixing, hacking, you name it. This all began last year when the Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit followed their hunch on some esports matches being thrown.
In particular, the CSGO match-fixing in question was a part of the ESEA-Mountain Dew League. This is a semi-professional league and it’s suggested that up to 30,000 AU ($19,230) may have been wagered in connection to this match-fixing.
This investigation led to charges being filed against five individuals last week. One of these is a 20-year-old from Melbourne who was charged with two counts of “engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome.” They were also charged with two counts of using corrupt conduct information for gambling, and cannabis possession.
Three other 20-year-old locals are each looking at three counts of using corrupt conduct information for gambling. The fifth individual is a 27-year-old from Sale, Victoria who now faces five counts of the same type. It’s reprehensible to see this kind of thing being so apparently wide-spread.
“We’ve got young men, typically 19- or 20-year-olds, who have no history with police,” said Neil Paterson, the police department’s assistant commissioner. “They’re [allegedly] getting involved in [corruption] offenses… at quite a young age that have serious consequences for them. The sheer volume of young men involved in gambling, both in high school and in universities, is at epidemic proportions. What I’m not seeing is anyone doing anything particularly about that.”
He makes a pretty solid point here. One of the biggest things I think is that kids are used to just doing whatever they want in their ranked matches or casual matches in online games. The worst they’ll get is a slap on the wrist (suspension, or an account ban). There’s no loss of money other than what they spent, so the leap to the next step doesn’t sound impossible.
Far too many people think there are no consequences for their actions, and it shows. This is even worse with how much more esports is on tap right now, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. We can only imagine that leagues and orgs will be keeping a very close eye on how betting, match-fixing, and cheating will be dealt with going forward.
Big companies and advertisers aren’t going to want to be involved in an organization or league that has had match-fixing, cheating, hacking, or whatever awful thing people are doing now. Strict guidelines need to be enforced. One of the biggest problems in esports is a lack of integrity. More regulation and guidelines could certainly help fix that – at least a little.