Here’s something that should be an easy, bite-sized parcel for ESIC to digest and move their match-fixing investigation forwards; or at least in a direction.
It’s been well over a month since ESIC was supposed to release their in-depth investigation into match-fixing, one of the newer controversies to come out of the professional Counter-Strike scene.
Ultimately, the scandal is concerning to both Valorant and Counter-Strike as the investigation scope is currently understood.
Players that had not reached tier 1 allegedly fixed matches in lower ranks of Counter-Strike while betting on the outcomes, presuming that since they left Counter-Strike for Valorant shortly after the match-fixing they wouldn’t be punished.
Granted, match-fixing is a massive crime that comes with prison, but we don’t like to be burdened by rational thought.
Now, allegations are surfacing that the Russian team Mustang Crew is leaving their organization en masse after the CEO asked them to help fix matches, for the fifth time this year.
Mustang roster leaves organization cause CEO asked to do matchfixing… It's 5 case this year when CEO of the organizaion s asking for that )
— OverDrive (@ABOverDrive) November 7, 2020
Some fans are stating that, with wavering results in recent match-ups, this is the only way for some organizations in eastern-Europe to keep the literal lights on for the roster; purchasing a new roster at the moment is nigh-impossible for many organizations to even dream about, much less conduct with the current state of professional Counter-Strike during the ongoing pandemic.
А за счет чего еще эти организации должны жить? Результаты у них ни о чем, а игроки наверно еще и зп хотят получать
— f69 (@f69nearer) November 7, 2020
Not that this is, in any way, to be read as condoning or otherwise approving of the actions that Mustang Crew’s CEO is alleged to participate in; merely that it’s cold outside at the moment and teams within multiple esport leagues are doing whatever is in their power to keep a profit.
The most recent recorded official match for Mustang Crew was on November 2, 2020; they have no upcoming matches currently scheduled that would need to be forfeited if the statements are accurate.
Their social media states that they were brought into the Cyber.Bet Golden League 2020, losing against Hard Legion (another team indicted in the monumental cheating scandal that rocked the CS scene as a whole) in overtime.
We can't finish this game in overtime. We lose this game with the score 1:2 😔
— Mustang Crew (@crew_mustang) November 2, 2020
ESIC themselves have not yet commented on the events that have transpired on Twitter this morning, but everything matches the precedent that multiple players and analysts have commented on, with lower-tiered teams struggling to make ends meet and believing that the path to easy cash lies somewhere in fixing the outcome of matches for people to profit off of.
At the very least, until ESIC manages to publish a report, it’s likely wise to abstain from betting in any Counter-Strike T2/3 matches for the interim.