ESIC suspends 35 CS:GO players for up to 5 years for betting offenses in Australia

It's a scandal.

Image via Valve

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has found 35 individuals to be in breach of the organization’s Anti-Corruption Code during Australian member events, including offenses such as betting on or against a player’s own team, the ESIC announced today.

The sanctions range from a minimum of 12 months to a maximum of 60 months. Three players—Matthew “⁠Jam⁠” Castro, Alvin “⁠Gravinz⁠” Changgra, and Wilson “⁠willyKS⁠” Sugianto—were hit with a five-year ban. These players engaged in “aggravated betting against [their own] team” for more than 10 matches, according to the ESIC’s Sanctions Matrix.

While the suspensions only apply for member events, including premier tournament organizers such as ESL, DreamHack, and Blast, ESIC urged non-ESIC members to “honor these bans.”

Additionally, ESIC’s investigations revealed the possibility of “collusive behavior” from associates of certain involved players, placing identical bets to further capitalize on the situation. 

“While ESIC has no jurisdiction to deal with these individuals, we have referred their behavior to law enforcement for investigation as being potentially in breach of criminal law,” the organization said.

The ESIC added that the investigation didn’t determine whether these offenses were match-fixing “at this point.” The organization said that “particular focus” and partnership with relevant law enforcement authorities will be placed on certain parties and “further action” in addition to the handed sanctions remains a possibility.

“In particular, betting against one’s own team in a match one is playing in gives rise to a strong suspicion of match-fixing,” the ESIC said.

The full list of banned players, as well as the matrix used to determine their ban lengths, can be found here.

While the ESIC’s latest statement concerned the Australia region, the organization said it’s “currently undertaking other investigations” in other leagues located in North America and Europe, CS:GO and otherwise.