Valve issues more bans as match-fixing scandal continues
The latest bans include former members of teams like Epsilon, ESC Gaming and Alsen, and range across France and Poland. The Electronic Sports League (ESL) also disqualified German team Winner, formerly myRevenge, from an upcoming major qualifier, pending further investigation.
The immediate result? The big qualifier for the first major of 2015 is down three teams: Epsilon, the former ESC Gaming, and Winner. To fill those open spots, ESL will be hosting a last-chance qualifier this weekend featuring Orbit, Property, and Volgare. Additionally, two teams will move directly into the qualifying event next week: 3DMax and LGB Esports, who were originally set to play one another to determine who would move on.
Each ban is considered indefinite, and will not be further reviewed until next year, according to Valve's decision, which was first revealed on the ESL website.
The list of bans includes well-known players like Joey “Fxy0” Schlosser, Robin “GMX” Stahmer, Pawel “Innocent” Mocek and Grzegorz “Szpero” Dziamalek.
The bans against Polish players reach back to October of last year, when Alsen was implicated in a match fixing scandal and multiple players from ESC Gaming were accused of receiving knowledge of the fixed game and, in turn, making bets on it.
Suspicions about Epsilon were only recently raised after Stahmer revealed that a match against Spanish team Over Gaming had been fixed. His revelations on Feb. 4 were confirmed by Schlosser, who said at the time that he had already been contacted by Valve regarding the incoming ban.
The investigation into Winner concerns a recent game in January, a show match between myRevenge—who at the time were sponsoring Winner’s roster of players—and Volgare. Officials from myRevenge confirmed the fix in an interview with the Daily Dot.
Valve closed its statement by again reiterating its commitment to keeping Counter-Strike clean, and discouraging players from gambling on matches or associating with “high volume CS:GO gamblers.”
While the former Epsilon players have thus far accepted the decision, players from Winner and the former ESC Gaming team have spoken out against the accusations. Valve has yet to offer any further comment beyond the statement released through ESL.
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