ESIC (Esports Integrity Commission) has issued a statement as it hands out 35 bans to CS:GO players for betting-related offences in Australia. In its continued effort to rid the competitive CS:GO scene of illegal betting-related activity, ESIC has followed up their investigation from October 2020 when they had banned 7 Australian CS:GO players for 12-months each for the same.
This might be the biggest crackdown by ESIC so far when it comes to CS:GO players breaching their ‘Anti-Corruption Code’. 35 CS:GO players are being handed out bans ranging from 12 months to 5 years for engaging in illegal betting related practices, these bans are being issued in addition to the seven previous ones which were sanctioned by ESIC on 23 Oct 2020.
As a result of this, 2 players who were previously issued a 12-month ban, Akram "ADK" Smida and Daryl "Mayker" May have now had their bans increased to 24 months and 48 months, respectively, due to the newly available evidence.
ESIC has also stated that the entire case is being referred to the local law enforcement for further investigation into the matter. For now, the case is built only on the basis of betting-related offences and does not deal with “ascertaining or alleging the presence of match-fixing,” although there is a strong possibility of this in some cases and is being investigated accordingly by both ESIC and the law enforcement.
The ban sentences handed out by ESIC is based on the following “Sanctions Matrix” to ensure that the punishments are “consistent and proportional to the offences,”
All the banned CS:GO players will not be able to participate in any CS:GO tournament by ESIC’s member organizations like ESL, DreamHack, and BLAST. ESIC has further urged all non-member organizations to also adhere to these sanctions.
ESIC has further reminded all professional players to refrain from placing bets “on the game from which they earn an income”. Earlier even Valve had recommended something similar asking players to avoid any risks by “never betting on any CS:GO game or match”.
More such investigations are being carried out by ESIC in a number of other CS:GO leagues and tournaments, in other regions like North America and Europe across multiple gaming titles and not just CS:GO. Further updates on these investigations will be made public knowledge as and when ESIC thinks it is “appropriate to do so”.