Five Australian Men Charged with CS:GO Match-Fixing, Facing Prison
- Five Australian men face up to 10 years in prison for fixing matches in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- The suspects amassed $30,000 in the space of several months off 20 wagers on a semi-professional gaming league
- Australia will take a closer look at esports moving forward, hoping to prevent further incidents involving fraud and corruption
Five Victorian men have been charged with match-fixing in Counter–Strike: Global Offensive. This is the first high-profile case of corruption in esports in which police has decided to intervene and bring everyone involved on charges of corruption.
The Victorian Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit originally arrested six individuals aged 20-27 back in August 2019. The arrest was the result of investigation that had started in March the same year and looked into possible match-fixing in a semi-professional CS: GO gaming league, the ESEA-Mountain Dew League.
Investigators Say $30,000 Won from Dishonest Betting Practices
The investigation concluded that at least five men – who knew themselves from high school and university – had intentionally and knowingly conducted betting scam, earning $30,000 across 20 bets. The police launched the investigation after it received a signal from a local betting agency.
It’s unclear who of the six original suspects was taken off the charges, but the remaining five could face up to 10 years in prison. No judge is likely to sentence the youths to nearly a decade in prison, but the case exemplifies a change in regulatory perception towards esports.
In Nevada, for example, the Gaming Control Board refused to permit wagering on esports until recently, citing the “different risk profile” of such competitions. Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson commented the investigation saying that gambling among young men and women has been growing with barely a soul looking to “do anything particular about that.”
The Right Man for the Job
Australia also has a new integrity watchdog, the Sports Integrity Australia, which has appointed its first chief executive, David Sharpe, who comes from the Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority (ASADA).
Sharpe is well-versed in sports, and as it turns out – esports. He has discussed both the higher incidence of match-fixing as well as doping among esports athletes. Sharpe will work on both tackling corruption in esports as well as raising awareness.
This is the first time esports match-fixing has taken the dimensions of a mainstream sporting scandal.
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