FBI gets involved in ESIC North American matchfixing investigation
Ian Smith, commissioner of the eSports Integrity Commission (ESIC), in an interview on Youtube channel slash32, revealed that his organization has teamed up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to dig deeper into the match-fixing case on the North American scene. The U.S. investigative agency is looking at eSports cheating situations as part of a larger case involving organized syndicates.
Smith hopes that in the next two weeks, the ESIC will have the opportunity to release the first results of their fruits of labor. He added that the commission has "really good corroborating evidence" of wrongdoing and that the players will be banned "for a very, very long time".
It is part of a far bigger investigation, which is going to take us a little bit longer, unfortunately, which is that... there has been, amongst a relatively small but significant group of players, over a long period of time, organized match-fixing in North American MDL."
"We are, to some extent, working with law enforcement, working with the FBI, who only recently have had a sports betting investigative unit within the FBI. They're good, but they are inexperienced because sports betting hasn't really been a thing in America until recently, so everybody is kind of finding their feet on that one."
eSports Integrity Commission had taken up an investigation into possible match-fixing in the ESEA MDL league back in September 2020. Several players were banned for betting on games in the Australian region, in which they had personally participated. Then representative ESIC said that this is only the first result of a larger-scale investigation, which is conducted during the year and a half.