Seven CS: GO Players Suspended for Betting on Matches They Were Playing

Seven Counter-Strike: Global Offensives Australian professional players have been suspended for engaging in illegal betting. The seven bet on various games, including those they were playing in themselves. These players include:

  • Joshua jhd, Corey “netik”, Akram Smida, Damian the Real Goat, and Carlos Rackem from Rooster 2
  • Stephen Sjanastasi from Team Lakers
  • Daryl Mayker from Team Ground Zero

The Esports Integrity Commission, joint with Esports Entertainment Association, released a statement on Friday, October 23, 2020, reporting that they were investigating breaches to the anti-corruption code for ESIC and ESEA’s rule in the Mountain Dew League.

Following the joint investigation, the associations found that the seven players in the MDL Australia wagered on matches in the tournament, including the specific games they were playing in themselves. The association also noted that the seven looked like they also had other associates placing identical wagers on the same games the players wagered on.

The Ruling on the Players’ Suspension

In 1989, Pete Rose from the Major League Baseball was also banned for life from the sport for wagering on the Cincinnati Reds while he was the team’s manager. The ban still holds today. Even after his retirement 30 years later, Pete remains ineligible for induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

By the same standard, the seven players from Counter-Strike: Global Offensives professional players face almost the same predicament. They were suspended for a year from playing the CS: GO though, not for life.

Although MDL isn’t the biggest pro gaming league in the CS: GO scene, it still is a legitimate professional league. The league was formed by ESL and Mountain Dew and is a gate pass for teams to compete in ESL Pro League. This means the seven pro players violated multiple clauses of the ESIC’s Anti-Corruption Code.

According to the Anti-corruption Code of ESIC 2.2:2.2.1, players, managers, and anybody associated with a particular tournament shouldn’t engage in betting or induct others into betting. Looking at the seven pro players’ behavior, they directly violated the law and must face the consequences.

What Did the Teams Have to Say About the Issue?

Rooster, one of the teams in the MDL and currently in third place, addressed the issue, acknowledging that its players bet on themselves to win. The team, which accounts for five of the seven suspended members, said that the players didn’t know it was illegal.

In their statement, Rooster said that the matches were not fixed and there was no conspiring when they chose to bet on themselves. The team members explained that they had not educated themselves enough about betting on games. However, they knew that throwing games is a no-go. Yet the team still apologized, saying they deeply regretted what happened and hoped that other players would learn from their mistakes.

The announcement on their banning from CS: GO comes several months after three CS: GO coaches were suspended for using a spectator bug to cheat in matches. That investigation is still in process. According to ESIC, it is still looking into match-fixing claims in the MDL in Australia and North America. The inquiry might take a little longer, because it involves work with various law enforcement in different jurisdictions.