ESIC bans 7 CS:GO players from ESEA MDL Australia for betting-related offenses

These players have been suspended for one year and may also face legal issues in Australia.

Image via Valve

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has suspended seven ESEA MDL Australia CS:GO players for one year due to placing bets on ESEA MDL Australia matches, including their own, ESIC announced today.

The bans were issued as of result of a joint investigation conducted by ESIC and ESEA. Additionally, ESIC found that several associates of the offending players also placed bets on matches involving them. Further details about this will be revealed in the future since the betting activities of those individuals are still under investigation.

The banned players come from four teams competing in the current season of ESEA MDL Australia: Ground Zero, LAKERS, Rooster, and Rooster 2. Here are all the seven Australian players banned by ESIC.

  1. Stephen “sjanastasi” Anastasi (LAKERS) [now playing as “stvn”]
  2. Akram “akram” Smida (Rooster) [now playing as “ADK”]
  3. Daryl “Mayker” May (Ground Zero)
  4. Corey “netik” Browne (Rooster) [sometimes spelt “nettik”]
  5. Damian “JD/The Real Goat” Simonovic (Rooster 2)
  6. Carlos “Rackem” Jefferys (Rooster 2)
  7. Joshua “jhd” Hough-devine (Rooster 2)

The players were found to be in violation of ESIC’s anti-corruption code, article 2.2, which says that any person with significant involvement in a number of games may not place a bet on any of the games in which he or she is involved. It’s also prohibited to induce, entice, instruct, persuade, encourage, and facilitate any other party to place a bet as actors, such as players, team owners, or team staff who may have privileged information.

The bans will be in effect for all of ESIC member tournaments, which include ESL, DreamHack, and BLAST. But ESIC has asked all tournament organizers to endorse these suspensions.

ESIC also said it referred this matter to “several law enforcement entities internationally, including in Australia” due to the nature of the betting offenses. Former Australian player turned caster and analyst Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill said on Twitter that the players will likely “get a criminal record in Australia if not something more drastic” since the country takes gambling matters seriously.

ESIC urged all professional players to abstain from placing bets “on the game in which they earn an income” to help preserve the integrity of the esports landscape. This was also recommended by Valve in a blog post in 2015.

The integrity commission is still investigating additional breaches of the anti-corruption codes within ESEA MDL in North America and Australia. The investigation, however, is more complex since it involves match-fixing and will take more time to be finalized.