Esports is growing, ever so fast than what it was in the early 2000s. It has flourished so drastically in the past few years that many organizations and investors are stepping into the scene making e-sports a hell of a deal. It all sounds good until you realize that ‘with light comes shadow’. There’s always some bad with the good. What’s the NOREG CSGO scam? Let’s dig into it!
Esports has thrived, for sure, but not as much as physical sports which are of course in existence for a very long time. Hence, esports is quite vulnerable to various shady and contemptible beings who take advantage of this still relatively juvenile and unregulated business in a disruptable manner.
There are official reports of situations like organizations not paying their players or tournament organizers vanishing into thin air without paying the prizes. Who can forget one of the most famous scandals in the CS:GO scene, the iBuyPower match-fixing against Team NetcodeGuides.com in August 2014.
There might be many cases of undetected low tier match-fixing as per the reports. Also ‘cheating at a pro-level’ angle is not taken for granted. There are many events where pro players are caught or even VAC-banned in a live professional match.
There have been stories of fake or ghost organizations in the community as well. One such fraud organization has been exposed by a Reddit user named Ollisium.
In his Reddit thread, he posted a few screenshots of tweets by the alleged org., links to the tweets, etc as a form of evidence intentionally to expose the fraud org. called NOREG. They seem to have deleted all their online endeavors to destroy the evidence but Redditors were smart enough to screenshot everything, they always were.
Now if you’re a hardcore CS:GO follower, you might know that this was an actual legitimate organization in the early days. NOREG is listed in HLTV.org as well as has a record in Liquipedia.net.
NOREG defeated Endpoint in a WESG match in 2017. But why is a match specifically against Endpoint emphasized here? Because of this fraud org. was so determined to fake out their projects, they literally faked their match streams to make it look like the matches were legitimately played. One such match was against.. yea you guessed it right, Endpoint.
Ollisium said: “They also faked the game which you can view on their Twitch channel. As far as I can tell Endpoint hasn’t played a game on Inferno with Flamez with that scoreline, so I’m not sure how they faked it, but apart from it looking laggy as hell, it’s pretty good.” Sadly, the Twitch VOD with fake streams seems to be deleted. This intricates that they literally hired 5 conmen or rather I should say e-conmen to impersonate the whole Endpoint roster and stage a fake match.
Apparently, the org’s logo was also stolen from ‘Entropiq’ a professional esports team from the Czech Republic. It was further deduced that they stated their CEO is Lucas ‘Bubzkji’ from Astralis, to which the Astralis player immediately denied.
Even the players playing for the org. seemed to be non-existing or clueless about the fraud. Ollisium said, “The players they have listed are Glowiibubz, Udkme, kkeline, chr1sve, Gothicle, and m1nfrikz”. To which he further added, “UDKME has a Faceit profile with 3800 games and M1NFRIKZ seems to have some Russian community servers linked to his name. The rest don’t exist.”
While Ollisium claimed 3 out of 5 players as non-existent, one of the 3 players, named Mikkeline ‘kkeline’ Liuntrup came forward to justify through his tweets:-
And so did Zulfigar ‘m1nfrikz’ Garibov :-
Nevertheless, Ollisium thinks that the person behind this fraud org. is the same person handling kkeline’s Twitter account, trying to act innocent and justify.
It seems that whoever is behind this whole manifestation was also faking the ‘NGaming Open Tour’ tournament which was organized by, NOREG Gaming org. itself. The whole event was a staged and fake event, with fake matches, fake prizes, fake players, and even fake streams. Appending to this disastrous incident, apparently the org. also announced a LAN even in Odense with a $200,000 prize pool in November.
EsportsCharts, a legitimate statistics recording organization, has the NGaming Open Tour listed on their website, but with only one team registered: NOREG. They were creating fake accounts and tournaments everywhere in an effort to look like a legitimate and established organization.
As we asserted earlier, NOREG was an actual organization in early 2018, with the former Dignitas trio: Morten “zEVES” Vollan, Jorgen “cromen” Robertsen, and Joakim “jkaem” Myrbostad being in the active roster. Players like Marcelious, AkEz, and H4RR3 were also a part of the org. at some point.
Ultimately, after being questioned, and debunked, this ‘latest’ NOREG admitted through a tweet that they were faking everything. Fairly soon after this tweet, they deleted every piece of evidence of their existence including the confession tweet as well. The tweet was as follows:-
“Okay, we’ll admit we made a mistake. We apologize to the players that we invited to play, as well as the use of the name Bubzkji, fake matches, and others, we did not warn the players about these matches, they fought themselves” It is still not so clear how the person behind all this nuisance managed to endeavor such a fraud at such a level, to this extent.
Ollisium claims that either it’s a money-laundering scheme or an attempt to scam clueless sponsors and investors. We as of now cannot firmly conclude or declare any statement regarding the incident. The investigation, as it seems, is still ongoing.