ESIC (Esports Integrity Commission) has still not given a full-fledged verdict on the match-fixing investigation which has been going on since Sep 2020. However, it has come to light recently that ESIC has started working with federal law enforcement to further investigate CS:GO match-fixing and take down an organized match-fixing group that is influenced by “outside betting syndicates”. The Commissioner of ESIC - Ian Smith, has come forward to reveal that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now part of the ongoing investigation, as ESIC similar to how they worked with the law enforcement authorities in Australia are looking to do the same in North America where things are “much more serious”.
ESIC involves FBI in CS:GO match-fixing investigation
ESIC has long been investigating match-fixing cases in the North-American CS:GO scene. It had issued a preliminary report on the same in September last year but since then no other update was issued. In a recent interview with CS:GO content creator ‘slash32’, it was revealed by Mr. Smith that ESIC had a strong case against match-fixers, with logs of corroborating evidence in the form of various “chat log screenshots and recordings of players”.
He confirmed that ESIC is comfortable going public with this information very soon “within the next 10 days to 2 weeks”. But as it is part of a much bigger investigation for which ESIC is working with FBI who recently established a sports betting investigative unit, the final report might take a bit longer.
Mr. Smith further stated that match-fixing in North America was “much more serious” when compared to their investigation in Australia.
“In North America, it’s much more serious, what I would describe as classic match-fixing. In other words, it’s players being bribed by outside betting syndicates in order to fix matches rather than players just kind of doing it off their own back opportunistically,” said Ian Smith while describing the match-fixing scene in the NA region.
Mr. Smith is quite confident with the evidence that ESIC has collected and their case against a “relatively small, but significant group of (CS:GO) players”. With the federal law enforcement now involved the verdict cannot be simply passed by ESIC, and the final report on the matter might get delayed.
ESIC has experience working with law enforcement in the past and did a good job cracking down the Australian match-fixing scene, where these are considered criminal offences. Though the NA scene might be a bit more complicated with organized match-fixing taking place in MDL (Mountain Dew League) over a significant period of time, ESIC seems to be confident and their upcoming update is eagerly awaited by the CS:GO community.