The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has alleged that potential match-fixing or betting fraud was committed at the recently concluded EPIC CIS League Spring 2021, which was the first CIS RMR event of the year. ESIC despite having no insight into the operation of the tournament nor any jurisdiction over it, claims to have referred the matter to Valve for consideration while also submitting substantial evidence to back their claims. This comes amid the ongoing controversy against the Ukrainian CS:GO team Akuma, who has been called out for cheating by various professional players and talents. The fairly unknown team had recently managed to surprise everyone, by defeating both Na’Vi and Virtus.pro to achieve a third-place finish at the EPIC CIS League Spring 2021.
Amid the ongoing Akuma cheating controversy, the esports watchdog ESIC has come forward with some interesting development around the situation. With the help of its global Suspicious Betting Alert Network (SBAN), ESIC states that it has received some evidence against Oleksandr Shyshko, CEO of Project X, the team from which later Akuma was formed.
According to ESIC, Shyshko has an active CS:GO betting account and has been found to have placed numerous highly suspicious bets, especially making accurate pre-match bets on the outcome of the Akuma vs VP match that took place at the EPIC CIS League Spring 2021. This is one of the matches for which the conduct of Akuma is subject to the current public cheating allegations.
Information from SBAN handed over to ESIC allegedly indicates the following,
While having referred the matter to Valve for consideration, ESIC recommended all its member tournament organizers to not accept entries from Akuma or any team with a roster made up of more than 3 of the current Akuma players or any team associated with Oleksandr Shyshko, until the outcome of any investigation by Valve.
Following ESIC's statement, Dmitriy "SENSEi" Shvorak on behalf of Akuma denied these allegations on Twitlonger. He also stated that the Akuma/ex-Project X was willing to cooperate with ESIC and provide any necessary information related to the investigation. SENSEi also stated that the team cannot be held responsible for Shysko's activities on betting websites.
Earlier in an independent investigation carried out by the Russian Federation of Computer Sports who are the organizers of the EPIC CIS League Spring 2021. According to the organization, Akuma was found to not have been involved in any sort of foul play. However, they went on to state that they are willing to re-conduct additional investigation if required.