Match fixing in esports: Investigation points to organised crime links

by September 24, 2019 0 comments

The lines between traditional sports and esports are blurring. With sponsorships from leading brands pouring into esports to teams like PSG investing into esports teams to countries officially recognizing esports players as athletes, the discipline is coming into the mainstream. But there is another aspect to it, much like traditional sports: Match fixing. Match fixing in esports is not unheard of but it usually took place in low level tournaments and were overlooked. 

But Australia seems to have begun cracking down on match fixing in esports.

Just last month, Victoria police had arrested 6 Counter Strike players on suspicions of match fixing. They were tipped off by a betting agency. 

This lead to Victoria Police taking on further investigations and a report by ABC 7.30 reveals previously unannounced details. Victoria Police’s Additional Commissioner told the news outlet that he expected an increased number of cases of corruption in Australia to be uncovered. The report further goes on to state that Overwatch Contenders teams in Australia may be linked to organised crime. The team under investigation was not named 

The force’s Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit has received reports of match fixing in other Counter-Strike: Global Offensive games, and about organised crime links to the ownership of an Australian-based team that plays Overwatch in the local Contenders league. Betting anomalies have been reported on matches involving that team. 

ABC 7.30         

“There is no test of a fit and proper person to be engaged as an owner of an esports team,” Mr Paterson told ABC 7.30. 

“We are seeing people encroach on that area that have reputations that [mean they] probably … shouldn’t be involved in this part of esports. 

“I could absolutely guarantee that this wouldn’t be the only [alleged] incidence of match fixing or betting anomalies on esports environments in the Australian market.” 

He also said that he was expecting there to be a dozen more arrests.  

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