Counter-Strike GO has received a lot of attention since its debut in 2012. Even though it’s an 8-year-old game, it’s still played by millions. The giant production, which has signed many principles in the field of eSports, faced the law.
Authorities in Australia and the US are investigating some players for match-fixing and illegal betting in Counter-Strike competitions. The E-sports Integrity Commission is working with the FBI to investigate a “small but important group.”
The allegations also include taking bribes from betting syndicates to distort matches. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is played as “e-sports” in England with millions of pounds prize money. In an interview with YouTuber and actor slash32, ESIC commissioner Ian Smith said that the FBI is not only “working to undermine the gaming industry by imposing severe penalties on players”, but clearly “looking at the ongoing match-fixing cases”.
The second, more serious investigation into organized match-fixing will likely take longer, as the FBI recently established a sports betting research unit. The main focus of the unit will be Counter-Strike. “They are good but inexperienced because sports betting has never been a big thing in America,” Smith said.
The fact that Counter-Strike is one of the oldest eSports games and large reward funds make it vulnerable to both match-fixing and the use of software cheats. In January, the ESIC banned 35 Australian players who violated anti-corruption law. Seven more players are banned in 2021. Also last year, 37 coaches overseeing players’ teams were banned from using an error that gave them an unlimited view of certain parts of the game’s maps.
Piers Harding-Rolls, research director at Ampere Analysis, said the integrity of eSports was “crucial to its commercial potential.” “Any factor that undermines this will have broader commercial consequences for an industry that often struggles with profitability.” “Obviously, it’s positive that law enforcement is involved in investigating these allegations of match-fixing. This is a robust type of response needed to steer eSports to a more direct location and continue its transition compared to traditional sports.”
Counter-Strike Global Offensive, a pioneering game in esports, has many accusations of cheating and match-fixing, but remains number one.