The FBI are now involved in the ongoing ESIC Match-Fixing investigations.

16:09, 05 Apr 2021

Following the ongoing investigation into match-fixing in Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) carried out by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC), the FBI have now become involved. The Bureau has deployed their sports betting investigative unit to collude with ESIC in their probes to the scandal that has already seen over thirty players and coaches suspended.

The previous sanctioned offences only the Australian CS:GO scene (more specifically ESEA competitions) but the commission has said to be looking into the North American, European, and "a significant number of other leagues in multiple game titles" as well. 

According to ESIC Commissioner Ian Smith, the anti-corruption team have begun to work with the FBI to further the course of their probes in North America. 

In an interview with YouTube "Slash32", Smith shed some light on the investigations that continue to unfold, Smith said “[It’s] what I would describe as classic match-fixing. Players being bribed by outside betting syndicates in order to fix matches, rather than players just doing it off their own bat opportunistically, and it’s been going on for longer, it’s much more organised."

The commissioner then continued to discuss the involvement of the FBI into the investigations. He said "To some extent, we’re working with law enforcement and the FBI, who only recently have had a sports betting investigative unit within the FBI."

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"They’re good, but they’re inexperienced because sports betting has never been a big thing in America until recently, so everybody’s kind of finding their feet on that one,”

Whilst ESIC has yet to make an announcement, Smith told Slash32 to expect one soon, claiming: "I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to go public with this soon, within the next 10 days to 2 weeks."

ESIC also previously banned more than 30 coaches in CS:GO for using a spectator bug which broke regulation, with the most severe punishment being three years.

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Image via Valve Corporation | Esports Integrity Commission 

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