CSGO pro suspended for betting on matches he played in

Luís Mira
CSGO ESIC investigation stream snipingESIC/Valve/Unsplash: Alexander Jawfox

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has provisionally suspended CS:GO pro Joel ‘joel’ Holmlund due to multiple breaches of its Anti-Corruption Code.

The Swedish player, 18, was found to have placed bets between March 27 and 31 on matches that he was playing in, including two bets against his own team, GODSENT, in a series that they lost.

After initially indicating that the matches in question were only from the BetBoom Playlist Urbanistic tournament, ESIC has rectified its statement to include matches that the team played in the IEM Dallas Closed Qualifier.

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Additionally, joel was found to have placed 17 bets on various CS:GO matches between March 29 and May 1. Valve stated in a 2015 blog post titled ‘Unnecessary Risks’ that professional players “should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches, associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, or deliver information to others that might influence their CS:GO bets.”

joel played in the European RMR leading to the IEM Rio Major in 2022

joel was served with a notice of charge on August 30 and denied any wrongdoing, prompting ESIC to gather additional evidence to verify his claims.

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“Considering the gravity of the allegations, Mr. Holmlund’s current active participation in an ESIC-affiliated event, and being satisfied with the compelling evidence presented in its further investigation, ESIC has elected to suspend Mr. Holmlund via a Rejection Order Notice,” ESIC stated.

According to ESIC, the investigation into joel’s betting activity includes “digital footprints, including IP addresses, device IDs, and browser information”, records of individual bets placed during events, and links between betting accounts and social media platforms.

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The Swedish player has until October 6 to present new evidence. After this, ESIC will make a further statement revealing the final outcome of the investigation and potentially imposing sanctions.

joel responds to ESIC suspension

On X/Twitter, joel said that his suspension is “[an] injustice” and argued that ESIC was “forced” to act after he helped Victory Zigzag qualify for the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown last week.

“They are accusing me of several stuff I didn’t do, and that’s fairly obvious,” he wrote. “Still, if I come out publicly, I am breaking confidentiality.

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“I am still willing to cooperate with ESIC and will give my final answer around October 6 together with my lawyer.”

The news of the suspension ends months of speculation about the player, who was suddenly benched by GODSENT in May despite being the team’s best player. The Swedish organization has issued a statement in response to ESIC’s suspension, confirming that joel’s removal from the team was connected to the investigation that was being conducted by the esports watchdog. His contract with the organization has since been terminated.

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The 18-year-old is widely regarded as one of the most exciting rising talents in Sweden and has averaged a 1.12 HLTV rating in 2023. Prior to joining GODSENT in January, he notably played for Galaxy Racer and Monte.

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About The Author

Luís Mira graduated from ESCS in 2012 with a degree in journalism. A former reporter for HLTV.org, Goal and SkySports, he brings more than a decade of experience covering esports and traditional sports to Dexerto's editorial team. Contact: luis.mira@dexerto.com