Ian Smith, Commissioner of the Esports Integrity Commission, claimed the commission has been cooperating with the FBI in ESIC’s investigations into North American Counter Strike match fixing in a recent interview with Counter Strike YouTube creator slash32. When asked for an update on the investigation, Smith revealed that the FBI and law enforcement were involved in the investigation to an extent.
“It’s players being bribed by outside betting syndicates in order to to fix matches,” said Smith. “Rather than players doing it off their own backs, opportunistically,”
The current investigations referenced have been ongoing for almost two years. The last update was given in September of 2020. According to the last update, ESIC has 15 ongoing investigations that it considers to be a concern to the esports industry from the MDL. In the interview, Smith said that he believes the commission will be able to release the information to the public soon on one group of players that have fixed matches in the league.
He claims the investigators have strong corroborating evidence, Discord messages and screenshots, for that group.
“We’re dealing with idiots basically,” Smith said.
Smith then revealed that there is a smaller group of players that have participated in organized match fixing for a substantial period of time. With that group of investigations, he said, ESIC has been involved with the FBI and other law enforcement. That investigation, according to Smith, will take longer to complete.
“Amongst a relatively small, but significant, group of players over a long period of time there has been organized match fixing in North American MDL,” he said.
Esports consultant Rod “Slasher” Breslau gave the interview and FBI involvement broader exposure. He also insinuated that current professional VALORANT players may be a part of the investigation.
“In a new interview ESIC commissioner Ian Smith says the FBI is involved in the NA CS matchfixing situation which is why it’s taking so long. some Valorant teams are about to have open roster slots soon,” Slahser wrote on Twitter.
in a new interview ESIC commissioner Ian Smith says the FBI is involved in the NA CS matchfixing situation which is why it's taking so long. some Valorant teams are about to have open roster slots soon
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 31, 2021
ECIS previously investigated, released findings and sanctions for similar practices in Australia.