On September 21st, team Dignitas announced that they were dropping two of their players – Kevin “POISED” Ngo and Ryan “shanks” Ngo – from their Valorant roster.
At first glance, nothing may seem to be out of the ordinary about this decision coming from the North American organisation. However, taking a closer look at the events leading to this point may lead towards something entirely different.
While it’s true that Shanks was in a “trial” with the Dignitas squad, it’d absolutely make no sense for the org to release him without a proper reason, especially considering the fact that the team was performing pretty well with him on-board. Furthermore, dropping POISED from the squad would only increase their hassles since they’d be left with two players short in their Valorant roster which now consists of Rory “dephh” Jackson, Harrison “psalm” Chang and Phat “supamen” Le.
One couldn’t help but wonder if there was something else that led to, or impacted Dignitas’ decision to drop these two players from the roster, and the roots of the answer may lie behind a match-fixing scandal which occurred a few months prior and is linked with Valorant’s primary rival, CSGO.
On September 3rd, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) had updated fans that they were in the conclusive stages of 15 ongoing investigations on match-fixing scandals in CSGO, which could be expected to come to an end in the next four months.
Some of the names of the players under investigation by the ESIC have already started surfacing, and one of them may be Shanks.
A video by Esports Talk summing up the details of the incident shows a clip where the names of Shanks and Jimmy “Marved” Nguye pop up as potential people who’re being investigated for match-fixing, both of whom are currently attached with professional Valorant.
“I can confirm apparently several top Valorant pros will be revealed in ongoing CSGO investigations for match fixing,” Jake Lucky from Esports Talk said in a tweet dated September 4th. “The debate right now being should their punishments carry over from CSGO to their new game Valorant.”
Even after all the speculation, it can’t be confirmed if Shanks or others from the competitive Valorant scene are actually related to match-fixing scandals before the ESIC investigation comes to a conclusion. It’s also difficult to predict what consequences can the match-fixing scandals in CSGO have on the professional careers of the players in Valorant. Regardless, it’s certain that the involved players will be punished, and orgs will have second thoughts on signing a player who has a history of match-fixing in competitive games.