The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) and ESL subsidiary ESEA have released a joint statement providing an update into its Mountain Dew League (MDL) investigation launched on September 3rd.
The summary identifies seven Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players participating in MDL Australia guilty of placing wagers on MDL and other official matches. Found in breach of both ESEA rules and the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code, the governing body has issued a 12-month ban to each of the offending parties.
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Under the sanctioned outcomes, affected players are prohibited from competing in all CS:GO competitions organised or promoted by ESIC members. This includes ESL, DreamHack, WePlay! Esports, BLAST, NODWIN Gaming, LVP, and Eden Esports. The non-profit association has additionally asked tournament operators outside of its membership jurisdiction to honour these penalties.
Due to the legal implications of betting-related offences in particular jurisdictions, ESIC has notified law enforcement of its findings. The integrity association is said to hold relationships with several law enforcement entities internationally, including in Australia.
“Without a unified understanding of the implications of inappropriate betting behaviour and observance of anti-corruption mechanisms (such as the Anti-Corruption Code), esports runs the risk of facilitating attractive fraud opportunities for bad actors,” ESIC said in a statement. “It is crucially important that professional players (at the very least) abstain from placing bets on the game in which they earn an income from in order to preserve the integrity of the esports landscape internationally.”
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The notice reiterates the active state of the investigation, affirming additional penalties pertaining to the offending parties, their respective teams, and associates may surface as ESIC reviews ‘other components’ of the inquiry. As a result, the investigations will assess further breaches within the MDL in both Australia and North America.
On September 28th, ESIC issued a public update into another ongoing investigation surrounding the abuse of a spectator bug in Counter-Strike. The assessment identified 37 CS:GO coaches guilty of deliberately triggering the bug in a competitive environment, issuing sanctioned bans spanning between five and 36 months.
Esports Insider says: It’s certainly a disappointing day for all esports enthusiasts to learn professional competitors have crossed the line of competitive integrity. The work of ESIC during these investigations over the last several months has been nothing short of admirable, and hopefully these outcomes, and those to come, can add gravity to the seriousness of cheating in official matches, and the damage it inflicts on the esports industry at large.