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New CS: GO match-fixing scandal can permanently ruin Valorant’s esports scene

The CS: GO match-fixing scandal can ruin the Valorant
The CS: GO match-fixing scandal can ruin the Valorant's competitive scene (image credits: EssentiallyEsports)
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Modified 06 Sep 2020, 18:47 IST
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The CS: GO professional scene is witnessing a lot of allegations floating its way over the past couple of days. The accusations are destabilizing enough, and pretty much shaking the core roots and the foundations of the entire CS: GO esports scene.

However, the problem and the solution of it may not be contained in Valve’s shooter in itself, and the issues might just spill over the CS: GO bucket and into that of Valorant.

The latest match-fixing scandals which set off 15 ongoing investigations by the Esports Integrity Commission or the ESIC, might have severe repercussions for Valorant’s competitive scene.

Before we go into why the CS: GO scandals are such bad news for Riot’s shooter, let us first look into a bit of history, and how the dominoes have been toppling for Global Offensive.

The CS: GO Spectator Bug cheating scandal

Almost a week ago, three CS: GO coaches; Hard Legion's MechanoGun, Heroic's Hunden, and MIBR’s Dead, saw a 6-months to 2-years ban, because they exploited a spectator bug in both ESL and DreamHack tournaments. 

ESL, on their official website, had shown how exactly this Spectator bug worked, and how it allowed coaches to spectate any part of the map, without having the enemy know that they are being watched.

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Coaches having a free ghosting spectate like this absolutely ruins the competitive integrity of the game, and ESL found the three coaches guilty in the following instances:

  • Hard Legion, MechanoGun at ESL One Road to Rio on six maps in three matches
  • Heroic, HUNDEN at DreamHack Masters Spring in ten rounds on one map
  • MIBR, dead at ESL One Road to Rio in one round on one map

The severity of the ban was also discussed by ESL:

  • Dead will receive a six-month ban from playing or coaching in-competition
  • HUNDEN will receive a 12-month ban from playing or coaching in-competition
  • MechanoGun will receive a 24-month ban from playing or coaching in-competition
  • The teams will retroactively be disqualified from the tournament in question
  • The teams will forfeit their ESL Pro Tour points from the tournament in question
  • The teams will forfeit their prize money from the tournament in question

Dead, HUNDEN, and MechanoGun were quite respectable members of the CS: GO pro scene, and this act of transgression has pretty much rattled the faith of the CS: GO community.

The shadow of the iBUYPOWER scandal raises its head

From cheating to hacking on LAN tournaments, the CS: GO professional scene has been subjected to a lot of scandals. However, in terms of notoriety, nothing comes close to that of the match-fixing scandals.

And speaking of match-fixing, how can one ever forget the infamous iBUYPOWER racket that took place in 2014? 

The accused iBUYPOWER roster (image credits: HLTV.org)
The accused iBUYPOWER roster (image credits: HLTV.org)

The players involved at that time were kind of forgiven (as it happened so long ago) and almost all of them have shifted to Valorant, after receiving a permanent ban hammer from all Valve competitions.

However, this wasn’t the last match-fixing incident to surface, and in what seems like a shocking series of events, right after the Spectator bug scandal, ESIC raises more issues that deal with match-fixing.

In their official post ESIC stated that “Approximately eighteen months ago and on several occasions since, ESIC has received suspicious bet alerts through our global integrity monitoring framework which led us to establish an investigation into potential match-fixing activity in the MDL tournament series administered by one of our members, ESEA (a subsidiary operation of ESL). As we consider this matter to be of industry concern due to social media speculation, we have chosen to provide an update as we begin to finalize our investigation.”

What concerns the CS: GO community most is one of the concluding statements, where ESIC writes “As of the date of this update, ESIC is maintaining 15 ongoing investigations which we consider to be of significant concern to the industry.”

"15 possible match-fixing scandals" is just incredible, and the ultimate conclusion of the investigation can honestly cripple the CS: GO pro scene and destroy much of what the community has worked so hard to build.

How does the CS: GO match-fixing scandal affect Valorant?

At first glance, the investigations that ESIC is doing doesn't seem like an all too worrisome event to bother Valorant. However, to understand the repercussions of the investigations on Valorant, Jake Lucky of the Esports Talk comes to our rescue and in the above video, he shows us a few clips on how serious and deep-seated the matter is for both CS: GO and Valorant.

Many of the players who are being investigated have since moved to Valorant after the game officially came out.

In the clip from Ze Pug Godz Cooper’s stream, we hear names like Dignitas’ Shanks and FaZe Clan’s Marved pop up as possible pros who are currently being investigated for the match-fixing scandal.

To make matters worse, we even hear some disturbing information in the video that talks about an actual Snapchat group of CS: GO pros where they would regularly discuss throwing games.

Players like Shanks and Marved have moved on to the Valorant pro scene a long time ago, but Jake Lucky feels that just because they moved from one game to another doesn’t absolve them of their crimes.

Former CS: GO professional fl0m even tweeted that, “It’s 2020 where people are arguing if people should be punished for a crime they committed because they now play a different video game. What in the fuck. How is this even remotely close to a debate.”

Now, if the players who were involved in the match-fixing scandal and have moved to Valorant are found to be guilty, then the repercussions would indeed be severe, at least from the community standpoint. 

The whole legality of their punishment is what Jake Lucky debates in the video, but he doesn’t exactly reach a conclusion as to what is exactly going to happen.

Even TSM’s Subroza seems to be worried about the state that CS: GO is in right now, and we will have to wait and see just how much the Valorant pro scene is affected by ESIC’s investigations.

Published 06 Sep 2020, 18:43 IST
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