Team Spirit’s w0nderful Investigated Due To Match Fixing Allegations

Team Spirit’s AWPer Igor “w0nderful” Zhdanov has found himself under an investigation due to match-fixing allegations. The 17-year-old is among a number of players who were accused by a former ESIC investigator of supposed match-fixing.

W0nderful’s Involvement In Match Fixing Scandal

On Tuesday, November 1, former ESIC investigator Alexey “Yarabeu” Kurlov accused w0nderful, among other players, of match-fixing, introducing yet another drama to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene.

According to reports, w0nderful is accused of being involved in match-fixing during his tenure with a small Ukrainian team MAJESTY. Supposedly, Yarabeu himself orchestrated match-fixing by paying the MAJESTY players.

Yarabeu revealed the details of his allegations against w0nderful and other members of MAJESTY in a report by Richard Lewis, stating that he was an off-the-books owner of the Ukrainian CS:GO team. Yarabeu has reportedly spent three months with ESIC, investigating match-fixing, but it was revealed that he didn’t meet the standards required to pass probation.

Since Yarabeu left ESIC, he accused many teams, players, and the organization of being involved in various match-fixing activities. One most notable names that Yarabeu accused of late include current Monte player Volodymyr “Woro2k” Veletniuk and Ramazan “Ramz1kBO$$” Bashizov.

“Recently Team Spirit player Igor “w0nderful” Zhdanov became subject of discussion in the community due to the revealed details of the investigation conducted by ESIC,” read Team Spirit’s announcement.

“Team Spirit has always stood for fair play. The organization is aware of the accusations made against Igor and is cooperating with ESIC; while conducting an internal investigation alongside. We express our gratitude to Alexey “Yarabeu” Kurlov for his assistance in this process.

The highly controversial accusations come just a few days ahead of Team Spirit’s campaign at Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major, where the CIS squad will kick off their road in the Legends Stage.

Unfortunate Timing

The findings of the investigation currently conducted by ESIC and Team Spirit remain unknown and likely won’t be revealed for a while longer. However, the accusations came at a very unfortunate time, less than a week ahead of Team Spirit’s opening match at IEM Rio Major.

If the investigation finds w0nderful guilty of match-fixing, Team Spirit would be forced to replace him with a stand-in player, which will severely harm their chances to make a splash at the Major.

Team Spirit qualified for IEM Rio Major via the Intel Extreme Masters Road to Rio 2022: European RMR A, finishing in fourth place. During the European RMR, Team Spirit won three of their four series against 1win, GamerLegion, and Bad News Eagles, while their only loss came against Sprout.

Moreover, Spirit defeated Cloud9 (2-1) in the fourth place tiebreaker, which secured them Legends Status, leaving the Russian squad to start their IEM Rio campaign in the Challengers Stage.

Since their successful run through the RMR, Team Spirit have also attended and won FiReLEAGUE 2022: Global Finals but were far less successful at CCT South Europe Series #1 at the end of October, where they placed fifth-eighth.

Much of the team’s success this year was thanks to w0nderful, who joined Team Spirit in June 2022, and has since established himself as a key player on the CIS roster. Since joining Team Spirit, w0nderful has been averaging a 1.16 performance rating.

Ahead of the IEM Rio Major, w0nderful boasts a 1.20 average rating across the last three months and is the current highest-rated player of Team Spirit, ahead of Robert “Patsi” Isyanov, who has averaged a 1.16 rating over the last three months.

W0nderful has yet to comment on the accusations, nor have Team Spirit shared any details of the ongoing investigation.