The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) reported on Twitter Wednesday that they have expressed concerns to CS:GO developer Valve over the recent Regional Major Rankings (RMR) event run for the CIS region.
According to ESIC, they received information regarding a number of potential issues, including:
- Betting and client information
- Match and player behavior analysis data
- Prior behavior data
- Other relevant information
“In assessing the evidence, ESIC determined that there was a reasonable basis to believe that potential match-fixing and/or betting fraud behaviour was perpetrated”, the commission writes, suggesting events at the Valve-sanctioned major qualifier may have been rigged for financial gain.
Tournament organizers EPIC are not currently ESIC members, hence the delay in communication, which apparently follows evidence being handed to ESIC via their global Suspicious Betting Activity Network (SBAN).
Virtus.pro vs Akuma controversy at EPIC League RMR
The claims relate specifically to Alexander Shyshko, the former CEO of the now-defunct Project X organisation that housed three of Akuma’s current five-man lineup. The allegations in this case centre around the Akuma vs. Virtus.Pro match, the result of which had already been called into question before it emerged that Shyshko had made a number of wagers on the game prior to it starting.
There were also a number of other stories to emerge from the event, including but not limited to the tournament not having an anti-cheat, no TeamSpeak recordings, a zero-delay GOTV feed, and no recorded replays. These came to a head when Na’Vi coach Andrii “B1ad3” Gorodenskyi went on HLTV’s Confirmed podcast and flat out said he believed the Akuma players were cheating.
Akuma free to play elsewhere still
Perhaps more worrying for CSGO is the fact Akuma (who were cleared by the Russian Esports Federation in a Twitlonger), are still competing in other events at the time of writing, such as the European Development Championship (EDC). We spoke to Jamie “Squid” Stewart, a commentator who has worked with many of the companies involved in the past, to get an idea of just how bad the issue could be, and how companies are reacting.
“It was obvious from a kilometre away that Akuma weren’t playing fair, the fact that tournament organisers are ignoring such a wealth of evidence makes me question their integrity”, Squid told Inven Global. “It’s absolutely disgusting that tournament organisers like EDC have privately communicated to me that Akuma will STILL be allowed to play in their tournament. This is despite Parimatch (their sponsor) refunding bets on Akuma games and this statement.”
Like many in the esports space, Squid believes the move made by ESIC is the correct way to go. “ESIC have done absolutely the right thing by taking the overwhelming evidence to Valve. The statement is spot on and I hope the appropriate organisations now take action. Albeit I believe the organisations in question, Valve and the TOs may still pass the responsibility elsewhere and create another clusterf**k.”
The decision by EDC to allow Akuma to enter their event directly contravenes the advice from ESIC that the team should be suspended pending investigation. At this point in time, they have only handed data to Valve, and ESIC themselves are not investigating the matter due to having ‘no jurisdiction’ over the event, which is not ESIC-sanctioned, as previously stated.
Dexerto Editor-at-Large Richard Lewis reported today that Valve have confirmed to him they are conducting their own investigation into ‘the standards of the tournament’, in his report on the topic. We will update the story as it unfolds, and ESIC have asked that anyone with information pertinent to the case contact them ASAP.