Riot Reportedly ‘Launching Match Fixing Investigation Amongst VALORANT Players’
Following the investigations into match-fixing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), carried out by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC), reports have emerged that claim Riot Games has launched an internal investigation into VALORANT players, especially those who have made the switch from careers in Counter-Strike.
The investigation, which reportedly intends to probe deeper into the match-fixing scandal, is allegedly completely independent from those held by ESIC, although it isn't clear on whether there is any overlapping in the scrutiny.
According to Richard Lewis of Dexerto, a source allegedly involved in the investigation has explained that it first came apparent following suspected match-fixing in the North American Mountain Dew League (MDL) which occurred in 2017. Following months of scrutiny from ESIC, Lewis claims that multiple players under investigation chose to pursue a new career in VALORANT esports, governed by Riot Games.
The source told Lewis that "Currently there’s a team of people investigating the claims from CS:GO and they’ve interviewed a number of players they believe are named in the ESIC investigation.”
“They’ve interviewed players and owners as they’re trying to ascertain the overall integrity of their scene. Several organizations have been telling the players involved that they can’t sign them until Riot have cleared them and this has pressured Riot to get involved.”
Previously, Riot had launched their own investigations into G2 star Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks following allegations that the 22-year-old Latvian player approached another professional asking them to throw a game and a leaked recording that captured ardiis saying that he would be willing to match fix. The game developers cleared ardiis of all wrong-doing.
Multiple professionals who have faced bans in Counter-Strike have looked towards VALORANT as a fresh start. Both Braxton "brax" Pierce (of Team SoloMid) and Joshua "steel" Nissan (of 100Thieves) were involved in a scandal dating back to 2014 during their time at iBuyPower. In search of redemption, the players have since led exemplary conduct since moving to VALORANT.
According to the report, it is not yet clear whether Riot intends to make the alleged investigation public.
Image via Riot Games