Fallout begins from the Counter-Strike match-fixing scandal
The fallout from the bans of seven Counter-Strike players for match-fixing has already started.
On Jan. 16, the Daily Dot reported on conclusive evidence of match fixing by American Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team iBUYPOWER, who were at the time arguably the best in the region and among the world’s elite teams.
Valve followed up by banning four players from that team: Sam “Dazed” Marine, Joshua “Steel” Nissan, Braxton “Swag” Pierce, and Keven “AZK” Lariviere, as well as three others involved in the match fixing scandal. Now, the first effects are being felt.
Netcode Guides, the esports entity co-owned by former iBUYPOWER captain Marine and Casey Foster, both of whom received bans from Valve, have lost their Counter-Strike team.
That squad, headlined by Todd “Anger” Williams and formerly branded Mythic, decided to leave Netcode Guides following the bans handed down by Valve. The decision is understandable, as the players surely want to distance themselves from the controversy and the team name that originally benefited from the throw by iBUYPOWER.
It was Netcode Guides who won the match against iBUYPOWER, which not only provided iBUYPOWER players with significant monetary gains from illegal bets but also pushed Netcode Guides up the standings in what was a tight league race.
Questions have been swirling around the sole core member of iBUYPOWER not to be banned by Valve, famed sniper Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham. For the moment, Latham will be substituting for one of North America’s top teams, Torqued, as they compete at Clutch Con this weekend.
Ironically, Latham will be replacing his former iBUYPOWER teammate Nissan, who was removed from the Torqued roster for the event after getting banned. It's not clear if Latham will have continued involvement with the team following Clutch Con.
Spencer “Hiko” Martin, who had been playing as stand-in with the iBUYPOWER players, has also been left without a team following Valve's decision. He has stated publicly that he and Latham are "looking at our options" with regards to their future in professional Counter-Strike.
Finally, the league in which the thrown match between iBUYPOWER and Netcode Guides took place has decided to take action, with CEVO suspending each of the seven banned by Valve. That follows moves made by other organizations, such as ESEA.
CEVO had launched its own investigation into the affair after the Daily Dot published its first article in August. But it chose not to take action against the players involved. CEVO president Charlie Plitt offered a brief statement in which he assured fans that the league was dedicated to providing a clean competitive format.
“We will remain vigilant in upholding and refining our rules in an effort to provide the fairest gameplay possible,” Plitt said.
Image via Valve