Valorant pro found guilty of match-fixing for $4500

Valorant agentsRiot Games

Australian Valorant player Ty ‘junglew0w’ O’Donnell and his friend have been found guilty of match-fixing a domestic tournament game. The former Team Bliss member bet against his team during LPL Legends Autumn Cup 2021, taking home $7000 AUD ($4500).

junglew0w, a former Valorant pro for Team Bliss in Oceania, has been found guilty of match-fixing an LPL Legends Autumn Cup 2021 game more than 12 months ago.

O’Donnell and his friend Eli Clarke, bet on a game between junglew0w’s team and Eshays on June 8, 2021. In text messages presented in court and reported by The Age, the duo said there were “juicy odds” associated with the game in which Bliss was heavily favored.

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Clarke placed the bets on Bliss to lose the first map of the series, Icebox, while junglew0w was playing. They did so 8-13. Bliss went on to win the series 2-1 with dominant performances on Ascent (13-3) and Bind (4-13).

Through Clarke, the duo won $7000 AUD ($4500) on the game. junglew0w walked away with $1200 AUD ($780), with Clarke taking the rest.

Charges were originally laid for League of Legends match-fixing offenses back in May, according to a statement from Victoria Police which has since been removed. Clarke was found guilty of possessing information about corrupt conduct, while junglew0w was charged with engaging with conduct that corrupted a betting outcome.

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The duo were placed on 12-month good behavior bonds and were forced to repay their winnings to betting agency Ladbrokes. They must also make donations to gambling help charities in Australia.

Stephen Hanna, Director of Global Strategy at the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC), added in a statement to Dexerto the esports watchdog “distributed the original alert to [Victoria Police] and corresponded with them on it.

“We congratulate the Victorian Police sport betting integrity unit for their continued and active collaboration with the esports industry and their appetite for enforcement activities which have produced great outcomes which reinforce competitive integrity in esports.”

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Team Bliss Chief Operation Officer Brendan ‘brendypls’ Harms told Dexerto the team had no idea the game was fixed until the court hearing on September 26.

“From everyone we have spoken to today, even close friends and teammates were totally blindsided by the news,” he said.

“It’s incredibly disappointing to hear that it was a player competing under our banner, but it won’t deter Team Bliss from continuing to support esports in Australia on every level.

“Team Bliss condemn match-fixing in all forms as we pride ourselves on our integrity in the Oceanic esports scene.”

Caster Anthony ‘TwoTapTony’ McMullen, who was on the mic for the Bliss vs Eshays game, said there was nothing out of the ordinary about the match at the time.

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“Watching the game from a commentary perspective I couldn’t find a specific instance of junglew0w throwing,” he told Dexerto. “Overall the team just looked like they struggled on Icebox which isn’t something to raise alarms as it happens in regular season all the time.

“As someone who had been commentating the upcoming of this Bliss team, I had high hopes for junglew0w as one of the next rising stars in Oceanic Valorant. It’s very upsetting to find such a talented individual throwing his career away.”

The latest match-fixing case in Australia comes after more than 30 CS:GO players were booked by ESIC in 2021 for gambling offenses. Sanctions ranged from month-long bans to 5-year sentences, but no criminal charges were laid.

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In a separate case, six more players were arrested in 2019 for suspicious betting activity.