Valve has made it more clear than ever before: professional Counter-Strike players should stay far, far away from betting.
A recent post on the game’s official blog makes it very clear that Valve expects any player who hopes to participate in a Valve-sponsored tournament should never bet on games. The same goes for team officials and anyone working on the production side of Counter-Strike events.
These players and officials should also avoid associating with notable gamblers or give information that could affect betting patterns, Valve added. The latter clarification is especially notable, as it may explain recent bans handed out to players who have claimed not to have participated themselves in any fixed matches.
Valve also made clear that it will always be assumed that professional players have access to inside information when placing bets, giving them an unfair advantage over other betters, potentially defrauding fans. In practice, it’s similar to insider trading, and Valve is starting to handle it with appropriate seriousness.
It’s wise for Valve to be cautious in this regard. The recent series of match-fixing scandals have attracted broad attention in gaming communities both within and outside of esports. Counter-Strike’s reputation is in danger of becoming irrevocably associated with fixed results and betting fraud, and that’s not something Valve wants to see happen.
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