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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

CSGO: ESIC finds “substantial evidence of betting fraud” in Akuma match-fixing scandal

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During the EPIC League CIS 2021 semi-final between Virtus.pro and Akuma, several allegations related to match-fixing and betting fraud were raised against the latter. Fifteen teams from the region signed an open letter to Valve to thoroughly probe the incident.

EPIC League CIS 2021 is a Regional Major Rankings (RMR) event for the PGL Stockholm 2021 major which will be held later this year provided the pandemic is under control. If the situation permits, this will be the third CSGO major hosted by PGL. The allegations of match-fixing and betting fraud, if proved during a Valve major affiliated event are awful, to say the least.

Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is an esports watchdog overlooking the affairs related to cheating, fixing, integrity, etc. During the preliminary investigation into the semi-final match-up between Virtus.pro and Akuma dated May 30, 2021, ESIC has found “substantial evidence indicating the existence of potential betting fraud”.

The statement read,

ESIC has received evidence via its global Suspicious Betting Alert Network (SBAN) that the CEO of Project X, the team from which the Akuma roster emerged, Oleksandr Shyshko, has an active CSGO betting account and has placed numerous bets on highly suspicious Project X matches (when most of the current Akuma roster were playing as Project X) and, crucially, made accurate pre-match bets on the outcome of the Virtus Pro v Akuma match in the CIS RMR, the conduct of which match is subject to the current public cheating allegations against Akuma.

The statement further suggests that based on evidence, “potential match-fixing and/or betting fraud behavior was perpetrated” in the match.

“While ESIC has not undertaken a full investigation into the detail, extent, and validity of any particular instances of match-fixing behavior and the perpetrators of such behavior – information on hand would indicate that this is a matter worth investigating further; certainly, if ESIC did have jurisdiction, we would have opened a full investigation based on what we already know”, said Ian Smith, ESIC commissioner. He further added, “ESIC has therefore referred the evidence available to us to Valve for further consideration.”

ESIC has accredited tournament organizer members to not allow the team to participate in any of the events till a definite outcome is reached. It has also requested people with any information regarding the scandal to contact the commission to move forward with the investigation.

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