Mentioned in this article
- After six Australians were arrested over CS:GO match-fixing allegations in late August, two players remain under investigation with other parties being investigated for placing bets on the games in question.
- The incident related to a match in the ESEA-Mountain Dew League with police suggesting $30K AUD ($20.3K USD) may have been won gambling on the matches in question.
- The ABC investigation also references alleged organized crime links to an unnamed Australian Overwatch Contenders league team.
New details related to the arrest of six Australians in a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive match-fixing investigation have emerged through an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) investigation. The new information reveals the competition involved and broader police interest in team ownership of an Overwatch Contenders league team.
While the names of the players and teams involved have still not been released to the public, the ABC investigation has found that the matches in question were part of ESL’s AU region ESEA-Mountain Dew League competition.
The report also suggests that two “semi-professional” players were arrested but have not been charged, while the other four players in the team are not suspected of involvement. Others have been arrested for having placed the bets on the games being investigated.
Should people be charged and convicted of corrupt conduct related to a betting outcome, they could face prison time of up to 10 years under relevant Australian laws.
Victoria Police suggest $30K AUD ($20.3K USD) may have been the total gambling earnings related to all matches involved. With low volumes of esports betting in this market, any bet in the thousands of dollars is considered potentially suspicious.
The ABC report spoke to a player who was involved in the team being investigated for match-fixing, under condition of anonymity. The player claimed that they “weren’t a serious team” at the time, only involved to fill a last-minute vacancy.
“We knew we weren’t going to win, but we weren’t intentionally trying to lose,” the player told the ABC.
In a further revelation, the ABC stated that the Victorian Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit was not only investigating further allegations around CS:GO matches, but also related to an Australian Overwatch Contenders team. They went further, alleging that there may also be “organized crime links” to the owners of this Contenders team. There are eight teams in the Australian Overwatch Contenders competition.
In the broadcast version of the ABC report, Victoria’s Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Paterson said that esports is not conducting tests for what makes a “fit and proper person” to be engaged as an owner of a team.
“We are seeing people encroach on that area that have reputations that probably shouldn’t be involved in this part of esports.”
The Esports Observer contacted Activision Blizzard and ESL but neither had responded to the requests for comment at the time of publication.
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