In an unprecedented move, the Louvre Agreement’s Commissioner’s Office took action against Astralis in a conflict of interest case in 2021 within the realm of CS:GO. The events that unfolded served as a testament to the dedication of the Louvre Agreement towards enforcing rules and regulations within esports, specifically within the ESL Pro League.
The case unraveled in January 2023, when the Commissioner’s Office was alerted to potential breaches in the Louvre Agreement’s regulations. In response to these allegations, an independent investigation was initiated, which had the approval of the ESL Pro League’s Executive Board.
The independent investigation led to several findings. A key revelation was that Astralis had solicited and received services from an individual who was soon to become an employee, during the period of April to July 2021. This individual, at that time, held a significant role within a competing team. The failure to report this situation to the league authorities and the competing team itself was found to be a violation of the Louvre Agreement’s regulations. However, it is noteworthy that no other violations were identified during the investigation.
The repercussions for Astralis were substantial. The Executive Board decided to impose a fine of USD 100,000 on Astralis for maintaining and failing to report this conflict of interest. The fine incorporated legal and procedural fees. An important point to note is that the investigation concluded that this conflict of interest did not have any effect on the outcomes of competitions or match results.
Anders Horsholt, CEO of Astralis, expressed surprise and disappointment at the investigation’s conclusion. However, he acknowledged the verdict and emphasized the organization’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and fair play. Horsholt praised the Louvre Agreement for its role in ensuring good governance and regulatory discipline. He also recognized the diligent work done by all parties involved in the matter and expressed anticipation for future collaboration with the members of the Louvre Agreement to further refine the process.
Alex Inglot, Commissioner of the ESL Pro League, assured that while the need to investigate a member is rare, they are always ready to act on critical information. He commended the constructive manner in which Astralis conducted themselves throughout the inquiry and its outcome. Inglot emphasized the league’s commitment to operate with the highest standards of integrity, both in the game and outside it. He expressed pride in the support received from various individuals and organizations during the investigation and affirmed that the conclusion reached reassured all parties involved.
This case serves as an essential example of the steps the Louvre Agreement is ready to take to ensure the maintenance of the integrity and fair play within the ESL Pro League and in esports in general. It will be interesting to observe how this event influences future regulations and procedures within the Louvre Agreement and the wider esports community.