According to a report from Dexerto, Riot Games has now opened its own match-fixing investigation into VALORANT players who previously competed in CS:GO. According to Dexerto's source, Riot has begun interviewing players that they believe will be named in the ongoing ESIC investigation.
In an interview with CS:GO content creator Slash32 on Wednesday, Integrity Commissioner for the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) Ian Smith stated that the FBI is now involved in their ongoing NA CS:GO match-fixing investigation.
"We are, to some extent, working with law enforcement, working with the FBI, who only recently have had a sports betting investigative unit within the FBI," Ian Smith explained in the interview.
"They are good, but they are inexperienced because sports betting hasn't really been a thing in America until recently."
In the interview, which covered a number of topics, Smith offered a few details about the ongoing ESIC investigation into CS:GO match-fixing, indicating that they have a very strong case against a number of "well-organized" North American players who have been undermining the competitive integrity of NA CS:GO for some time now.
"I can only speak in general terms," Smith said. "There are two distinct elements of these investigations. One is that we have a very focused investigation, where we have really really good corroborating evidence from Discord, from various chat logs, screenshots, and recordings of players, that we are going to ban for a very very long time."
He continued saying, "This particular group of players. . . is part of a far bigger investigation that will take us a little longer, unfortunately. There has been, amongst a relatively small but significant group of players over a long period of time, organized match-fixing in North America."
Smith went on to explain that there are players who are not only betting themselves but were bribed by outside "betting syndicates" to manipulate the results of their matches.
Smith also spoke to the broader state of esports betting in America, and the difficulties that organizations like ESIC face when it comes to maintaining fair betting standards. He explained that esports betting is still pretty new and that the regulations on sports betting in America are difficult to work with because the various states and tribal authorities all have their own set of rules for it.
Based on what Smith said in the interview, we can expect more information regarding the match-fixing investigation in the coming weeks.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.