The world of esports witnessed an incident that is the first of its kind yesterday, but it was not something we were really wishing to see. According to reports, six people appear are to be arrested by the authorities in the biggest match fixing incident in Australian esports history, namely Counter-Strike tournaments
According to a report by the Australian Victoria Police, a suspicious relationship has been discovered between a betting agency and some police officers, with respect to a CS: GO tournament in March, where investigations revealed that players have lost games on purpose after placing bets on them, causing five unclean matches and 20 others that were bet on.
An arrest warrant has been issued for all six of those involved, aged 19-22, from Victoria, but investigations are continuing with the betting agency in a case that is the first in Australian police history involving detectives from the Sporting Integrity Intelligence unit and Organized Crime Intelligence unit.
“Esports is really an emerging sporting industry and with that will come the demand for betting availability on the outcomes of tournaments and matches,” said Neil Paterson, Assistant Commissioner of the Victorian Police.
The charges against the six could be punishable by up to 10 years in prison, which is the first of its kind in the world of competitive video games and demonstrates the seriousness of the situation and the importance of fair play in its official tournaments.
“So often the work we do in esports fails to interest police, but Victoria Police has been proactive and innovative and have sought us out to assist with this and other investigations and this level of cooperation between a sport, law enforcement and the licensed betting industry is unprecedented and very welcome.” added Ian Smith, Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) Commissioner.
This is not the first time we have seen a similar situation, with several previous incidents in which players have been denied competitions and others even arrested. Although it is definitely regrettable news, showing tough sanctions may be the best way to deter future cheating or manipulation of results for personal gains.