Victoria Police, the law enforcement agency of Victoria, Australia, has arrested six Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players on suspicion of match-fixing.
Esports Integrity Coalition, a not-for-profit association that promotes integrity in esports, worked on the case with Victoria Police.
An investigation on the players in question started in March following the police receiving information from a betting agency. Allegedly, the players arranged to throw matches they had placed bets on.
The players and teams involved in the incident have not been identified at the time of writing, though warrants were executed in Mill Park, South Morang, Perth, and Mount Eliza leading to arrests. All six players have since been interviewed and released with the investigation still ongoing. A release explains that the alleged offences can result in up to 10 years of imprisonment.
Smith told Esports Insider: “ESIC has worked with Victoria Police on esports betting fraud cases for nearly a year now and we have other live cases still ongoing with them. Working with the team in Melbourne has been a revelation, highlighting what can be done when all the stakeholders cooperate. The tools and powers that the police have are far better than ESIC has as a voluntary regulator and we wish more police forces would prioritise this sort of damaging corruption for their attention.
“We want the esports community to know that ESIC will pursue as many cases as we can, not just to apply esports sanctions like banning orders, but also to try and ensure these corrupt players face criminal consequences too. What happened in Australia today should be a wake up call to those players match-fixing that the net is closing. Every ESIC suspicious betting alert goes to Victoria Police and, if there is any Australian connection, they will pursue it.”
Esports Insider says: It’s assuring to see a case of alleged match-fixing in esports being treated seriously by the police. It’s a serious matter when it happens in any sport and hopefully this case, though not quite over yet, will help to show others that this activity won’t go unnoticed and without its consequences.