Valve has issued bans to a number of professional Counter-Strike players who were caught match-fixing.
A number of players have been banned after profiting from a Cevo Season 5 match between iBUYPOWER and NetCodeGuides.com. A number of bets were placed just before the match by a player connected to players on both sides. It is thought that the wagers generated more than $10,000.
Meanwhile, Valve found that several high valued items won from that match by Duc "cud" Pham were transferred, via Derek "dboorn" Boorn, to iBUYPOWER players and NetCodeGuides founder, Casey Foster. As a result, Valve has banned the following from participation of any sort in Valve-sponsored events:
Duc “cud” Pham
Derek “dboorn” Boorn
Sam “Dazed” Marine
Braxton “swag” Pierce
Keven “AZK” Larivière
Joshua “Steel” Nissan
The match in question took place in August last year. iBUYPOWER, one of America’s top teams, were expected to sweep NetcodeGuides.com aside, but lost 16-4. Spectators were suspicious because of the play and attitude of iBUYPOWER’s players. However, the team attributed the loss to a timezone hangover from their time in Cologne for ESL One and a lack of practice on the map.
The Daily Dot later got its hand on evidence that indicated that the match was deliberately thrown. The damning evidence included conversation screenshots and a series of incriminating text messages.
Valve advised professional players, their managers, and organisational staff to steer clear of gambling on Counter-Strike matches. It closed the blog post with: “In 2014 we witnessed the explosive growth of CS:GO as a competitive eSport, and 2015 has already started strong. But as CS:GO grows, it’s important to consider the substantial impact an individual professional Counter-Strike player has on the health and stability of their sport. Performing before an audience of millions of fans, they are ambassadors for their game – the strength of professional Counter-Strike comes from the integrity of its players and teams.”