The growth of eSports has been incredible and many games are now starting to rival even the more traditional sporting events in many ways – from viewership numbers, sponsorship deals, to player salaries. But there have been rumblings in the eSports world over the past few days spanning back to something that had started almost two years ago – one of the most popular titles in the world in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and the new kid on the block for Valorant – many former Counter-Strike players had moved over to Valorant for the chance to make it big in a new scene, but as allegations of match-fixing have followed some the dream could be over before it has a chance to begin.
Match fixing isn’t unheard of in sporting events and has happened regularly throughout history, and it isn’t surprising why with how huge sports betting has become – particularly now with our modern mobile devices, online gambling has become easier than ever and more accessible to a growing number of people, and despite recent changes such as bans on credit card betting and the introduction of initiatives such as Gamstop, many are able to find plenty of opportunities to play at the Best Casinos and other gaming hubs, but the possibilities of betting become much more difficult when match fixing is rampant.
(Image from afkgaming.com)
The current investigations being conducted by ECIS have stated that up to fifteen separate counts are being explored – given the number of players per team needed to effectively throw a match however this number could be much higher – expected to conclude their investigation in four weeks this could send shockwaves through both scenes. If players who have moved from Counter-Strike to Valorant are found to be part of the scandal, it’s likely they will be instantly removed from their current organisation and unlikely to be picked up by another team, but now some fans are starting to call for some clarity on what may happen with bans.
So far it has been split in to two camps – those who believe bans should be handed out in both games to prevent anything from happening in the future of the younger game, with others believing that players shouldn’t be punished for something they had done in a different game and therefore should only be punished in the game where the match fixing took place – a firm stance needs to be taken however to discourage anything happening in the future, and with Counter-Strike already being in a vulnerable position following the recent news of the in-game spectator bug abused by team coaches, there may not be much room for leniency.
It’s certainly an interesting time for eSports however, and have also given a glimpse into what could happen in any emerging sport that is filled with younger talent where the rewards and salary may not be as high as expected – this may lead to certain measures being put in place by organisations to ensure that there plenty of incentives to dissuade any future possibilities for match fixing.