ESIC close to completing MDL match-fixing probe

ESIC received a series of alerts over suspicious betting on CS:GO.
ESIC received a series of alerts over suspicious betting on CS:GO.

The integrity commission carried out 15 investigations into suspicious betting on the esports league.

UK.- The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has said it is close to completing an extensive investigation into alleged match-fixing in the Mountain Dew League (MDL) esports competition.

The commission has conducted 15 investigations after it received a series of suspicious bet alerts through its monitoring framework over 18 months. It said it will publish a formal statement on its conclusions in the next four weeks.

The MDL Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament is a joint venture between esports organiser ESL and soft drinks brand Mountain Dew. It aims to give amateur players a chance to enter the scene.

ESIC says it has carried out extensive investigations into allegations against several parties using a number of tools and contacts to probe potential links between MDL players and bettors who placed suspicious or unusual wagers.

It has liaised with various anti-corruption supporters to gather evidence and analyse the claims.

The commission said: “Investigations into match-fixing are complex and require significant cooperation between a variety of international stakeholders comprising betting operators, government bodies, law enforcement agencies and industry stakeholders.

“Furthermore, as determinations in this category can often coincide with the prospect of criminal liability, ESIC takes additional steps to ensure that careful skill and attention has been given to all aspects of the investigative process.”

Last week, three Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team coaches were banned by tournament organisers DreamHack and ESL following an ESIC investigation.

That probe revolved around a so-called “coaching bug” that allowed coaches to watch CS:GO games from any position on the map and thereby provide details on opponents’ positions to their own teams.

ESIC has now launched an inquiry to look into potential historical cases of cheating using the same in-game bug going back as far as 2016.

It will analyse approximately 25,000 demos from CS:GO games played between 2016 and 2020 and draw up standardised sanctions to  apply to any offending parties.

See Focus Gaming News’ YouTube interview with ESIC integrity commissioner Ian Smith for more on how the body is seeking to uphold standards in esports.

In this article:
esports regulation UK