A group of five men may face up to ten years in jail after being charged in Australia with fixing matches in Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
Reported by ABC news in an article you can read here, two of the five men worked to fix matches whilst the other three bet on the games, leading to a total of $30,000 being won by the group.
Apparently having had no prior convictions or history with the police, the men in their 20s had met in high school and then went on to form the group.
You might be thinking this is just an isolated and rare situation, but you’d be wrong.
If reports are anything to go by, it looks like the idea of match-fixing seems to be a widespread problem within the eSports community, with an article by Chris Godfrey back in 2018 highlighting the level of corruption within the world of eSports.
Ian Smith, a UK lawyer quoted in the article suggested that “betting fraud and match-fixing” are the biggest threats to the eSports, with the practice of illegal betting being worth as much as $2 billion, an estimated number that would potentially be much higher now, two years later.
Despite this, competition organisers are becoming more and more vigilant and aware of the practices utilised by match-fixers, but it remains to be seen whether the industry can grapple with the criminal elements behind the scenes.