Top esports journalist Richard Lewis yesterday published new evidence of a potential match fixing scandal in semi-professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
The information was first provided to Richard approximately two weeks and after some investigation, he has made it public to allow others to conduct their own investigations. The match-fixer in question has claimed that he has earned approximately $20,000 (£16,000) in two months from arranging fixed matches.
Lewis reports that the man in question, Karim “tropica” El Amrani, the administrator of a private Facebook group called “CSGO EU Pracc” contacted a team owner with a direct message that read as follows: “I assume you guys aren’t making that much money out of Paria? as you are the manager. The prize pool for KoN is $250 or $500 I believe and i’m 90% sure your team wont make it to the final or win the whole thing anyways. Your team might win against Finland because that lineup isn’t really good so if you and your team wants to make a bit of extra money, you can throw that match against Finland.” This was then passed on to Dom Sacco who sent it in Richard’s direction.
Within the report by Lewis, there are numerous screenshots of a discussion with “tropica” in which he reveals the matches supposedly fixed and the bookmaker used. One would assume that once NordicBet (the bookmaker in question) has conducted an investigation into his alleged stakes, it will give a greater idea as to whether or not the claims amount to anything.
The matches in question were iGame vs Outlaws at Assembly, KoN Finland vs KoN Sweden, Outlaws vs Epsilon and Fragsters vs Rush3d. The alleged match-fixing goes as far as to losing the whole match-up or to losing just one map in a series.
A blog from Luke Cotton on csgobetting.com further explores the claims and questions the legitimacy of the supposed betting slip.
It furthers sentiments in our piece exploring the rocky relationship between esports and gambling where Ian Smith, Commissioner of the Esports Integrity Coalition stated: “This is my main gripe with publishers: not one of them is proactively seeking out betting fraud, monitoring the markets or has a vague plan of what to do should a suspicious bet arises – not a single one”.
Esports Insider says: Until there’s concrete evidence these are but allegations. It’s another example where there has, and will be no word from the publisher (who should arguably bear some sort of responsibility) until potential retrospective punishment.