KEY POINTS

  • Five Australian "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" players were charged with match-fixing charges
  • The charges came after an investigation was initiated last year
  • Six men were arrested after a betting agency told authorities about the anomaly
  • The five men were charged with the “use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes"

Five Australian “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” players have been slapped with match-fixing charges for allegedly losing on purpose at a semi-professional league last year.

Victoria Police's Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit pointed that the five “CS:GO” players were involved in fraudulent acts at ESEA Mountain Dew League in 2019.

According to Daily Esports, Australian police were notified by a betting agency involving the game where they conducted an investigation. They then suspect that the e-sports players were “arranging to throw matches and subsequently placing bets on those matches.”

Counter-Strike Some "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" elements can be found in Riot Games' upcoming title. Photo: CAROLINE PANKERT/AFP/Getty Images

The result of the investigation led to the arrest of six “CS:GO” players: two 20-year-old men and one 20-year-old from Mill Park were arrested, as well as a 19-year-old man from South Morang. Western Australia police then made another arrest as two 20-year-old men hailing from Mount Eliza were taken into custody.

“These warrants also highlighted that police will take any reports of suspicious or criminal activity within esports seriously, and we encourage anyone with information to come forward,” Victoria police assistant commissioner Neil Paterson told The Guardian in their August 2019 article.

In addition to the arrest, police also raided several houses in Victoria and Western Australia. They also discovered that more than five matches were impacted by the players' actions, accounting to as much as $30,000 in winnings.

“The motivation is greed. It's money. The people that are professional players can make millions of dollars. These players were at the other end,” Paterson told ABC AU.

As a result of the investigation, five men were charged with the “use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes.” One of them was also charged with engaging “in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of an event or event contingency,” as well as possession of cannabis.

The men were released after their initial arrest. They face a hefty prison sentence of 10 years for their crimes and are set to appear in court on September 15, said Kotaku.

Match-fixing is used to refer a practice in organized sports where an event is staged, resulting in a pre-determined outcome. It also violates the rules of the games and in some ways, the law. Journalist Declan Hill, who is also known as an expert on match-fixing, links the act to corruption, violence and tax avoidance.