The competitive CS:GO scene in North America has taken another hit after ESIC announced new bans in the match-fixing investigation looking into potential collusion by 39 individuals.
ESIC Takes Aim at ESEA Alleged Cheaters
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has issued a ruling in the case pertaining to the case of match-fixing in the ESEA League in North America, implicating dozens of players in the matter. This comes after a full-year investigation conducted by ESIC into 39 players who ESIC suspects may have been involved in match-fixing.
The present ruling only pertains to two players, with three players already receiving penalties over the past months. Some 34 people are still under a microscope with no clear idea of how long it would take to conclude investigating the remainder of the suspects or issuing penalties. This comes at a particularly fraught time in CS:GO when law enforcement in Australia and North America is cracking down on criminal syndicates fixing matches in the game.
ESIC stepped in after evidence surfaced that players have participated in eliciting assistance to fix various matches across the ESEA League, with two of them mentioned by name in the watchdog’s ruling.
According to ESIC, Sebastian “retchy” Tropiano and Kevin “4pack” Przypasniak did attempt to manipulate games. Both players, though, have the right to appeal the penalty or serve out the ban, which ends on April 1, 2026.
As a result of the ban, though, the players will not have access to some of the biggest events in the competitive CS:GO scene, including DreamHack, WePlay, BLAST, ESL, Relog, Eden, Nodwin, LVP, Estars, 247 Leagues, and others.
Another player, Carson “nosraC” O’Reilly, was handed down a 111-day ban previously. O’Reilly seems to not have participated in the attempted match-fixing, but he was aware of the situation, the ESIC claimed, which is a violation of the organization’s code of conduct.
He was cleared to play on July 22 this year and has been competing with ChocoCheck. Meanwhile, ESIC has urged for more action against two more alleged co-conspirators, to name Alex “vek” Voynov and David “J0LZ” Jolin, who already served a brief ban from the ESEA League. The league has cleared both of them to play, citing a lack of evidence to support further regulatory action against the players.
Did ESIC Punch Above Its Weight?
When ESIC opened the matter, it promised to act quickly in the matter. Commissioner Ian Smith spoke to slash32, a popular YouTuber, vowing that the matter would be put to rest quickly, but what ensued was radio silence that worried people if ESIC would ever conclude its ongoing investigation.
Many speculated whether ESIC could actually handle the issue, but the organization proved its mettle and posted a succinct brief explaining what had taken so long:
“It is ESIC’s observation of compelling evidence that suggests that organized crime groups and foreign betting syndicates were involved in fraudulent activities during the course of season 35 of the ESEA Premier: North America.”-ESIC Statement
ESIC’s latest investigative attempts have highlighted a need for better communication, something that the organization has followed up on with the Transparency Imitative. Essentially, this is a register where anyone interested may check out what investigations are conducted and when they were open.
The initiative will also have information about penalties and appeals, but this will be implemented later this year. ESIC has been known to be in the wrong before, but in this case, the organization seems to have done its due diligence. Over the past months, ESIC has issued suspensions to Legends of Runeterra players. Previously, ESIC took action against 35 Australian Counter-Strike players in January.