CSGO and League of Legends Match-Fixing Scandals Surface
Within the space of just a few days, several players have been implicated in match-fixing scandals. These allegations concern both CSGO and League of Legends players, with some of the claims being based on historical events. In one corner, CSGO’s ‘HObbit’ has been accused of match-fixing, in the other corner, two Australian men have been charged with League of Legends match-fixing offences.
In recent years, multiple match-fixing scandals have emerged as esports becomes more regulated as an industry. There’s a drive from regulatory bodies such as the Esports Integrity Commission to weed out any wrongdoing within esports, and this of course includes match-fixing. As the case of the Australian League of Legends match-fixing case proves, there are now criminal ramifications to esports match-fixing.
Read on to find out how these scandals are impacting the esports and gaming industries.
Up To Ten Years In Prison
It was just days ago that two men in Australia were arrested and charged with League of Legends match-fixing offences. Reportedly, these offences can be traced back to June 2021, with police investigators alleging that ‘numerous matches’ were impacted. According to the charges, these two individuals were ‘at least planning’ to fix matches in China’s LPL tournament.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first instance of League of Legends match-fixing that we’ve seen in recent months. This news comes hot off the back of a string of LPL betting scandals, and in April of 2022, LGD Gaming’s Chen Bo was handed a permanent ban for alleged match-fixing. In 2021, following a lengthy investigation, thirty-eight lifetime bans were dished out following the uncovering of ‘systematic’ League of Legends match-fixing.
For the two men implicated in the Australian scandal, a maximum penalty of up to ten years in prison now stands before them. They will undergo a trial in Australia in September of 2022.
In the last year or so, we’ve seen match-fixing incidents pop up involving Rainbow Six, Dota 2, and Valorant, and they’re all investigated with the same level of intensity.
Historic Allegations Surfacing
Elsewhere, an allegation aimed at CSGO’s Abai ‘HObbit’ Hasenov surfaced recently, based on evidence that could be more than seven years old. In a striking blow, fellow competitor, Rustam ‘5STRYK#R’ Alimkulov has come forward with alleged evidence that directly implicates HObbit in a 2015 match-fixing scandal.
As you can expect, HObbit is vocally defending his innocence, stating that everything he has achieved has been the result of nothing but hard work.
Directly connected to the manipulation of betting markets, the allegations claim that HObbit was involved with fixing matches at the StarLadder Regional Minor Championship in 2015. Reportedly, Alimkulov has been sitting on this evidence since the suspected case of match-fixing took place. While HObbit has pledged to assist ESIC in any investigations, the evidence against him is somewhat damning.
At present, HObbit is competing with the newly-formed Cloud9 CSGO team, taking centre stage at the PGL Antwerp event. Despite only having returned to CSGO esports weeks ago, Cloud9 has pledged its support to ESIC and is opening a preliminary, internal investigation.