The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) are working with the FBI in investigating CSGO match-fixing and “outside betting syndicates,” according to Commissioner Ian Smith.
In an interview with CSGO YouTuber ‘slash32,’ Smith revealed that in the scope of match-fixing throughout the world the cases he finds in North America are “much more serious.”
The commissioner said that ESIC has a strong case against match-fixers, with logs of corroborating evidence that they feel comfortable going public with very soon.
However, Smith said the cases of cheating in the North American MDL have “been going on for longer, [and] it’s much more organised.” Now the situation has the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who recently created a sports betting investigative unit.
(Timestamp at 20:24 for mobile viewers)
“In North America, it’s much more serious,” Smith explained. “[It’s] what I would describe as classic match-fixing. In other words, it’s players being bribed by outside betting syndicates in order to fix matches. Rather than players doing it off their own backs, opportunistically.”
Smith said that a “relatively small, but significant group of [CSGO] players” who organized match-fixing in NA MDL over a long period of time.
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ESIC is confident in their findings, and Smith said if it were up to his team, they would be ready to immediately go public with the evidence they already have.
But since they’re working with local law enforcement in Australia, where these are considered criminal offenses, and now to some extent the FBI, it’s going to take longer for them to publish their investigation.
This follows the seven CSGO players that were banned for 12 months in October 2020 following ESIC’s look into breaches of the Anti-Corruption Code in Australia’s MDL. This was apart from a separate ESIC investigation that resulted in 37 CSGO coaches who were banned in September 2020 for abusing a coaching bug.
ESIC and the FBI are expected to work together in the case to investigate the length of infractions and any possible consequences outside of CSGO or esports.
Smith said he’s “optimistic” that he’ll be able to go public with findings in the next two weeks.