ESIC refers evidence on Akuma to Valve
Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) in the course of its own investigation found substantial evidence of betting fraud on Akuma matches that took place at the recent RMR tournament for the CIS region. The company passed the collected evidence to Valve and called on tournament operators to ban the Ukrainian team until the moment when the official statement from the game developer would be released.
The Commission's suspicion was aroused by betting on the Ukrainians' matches made by their alleged sponsor Alexander Shishko. Among other things, ESIC reported that Shishko bet from his account on the exact outcome of the game Akuma - Virtus.pro, which took place in the second round of the upper bracket playoffs EPIC League CIS 2021.
EPIC’s CIS RMR event has been the subject of public controversy for various reasons. As EPIC is not a member of ESIC, ESIC has not taken steps to investigate the extent of integrity threats in the event. However, on 9 June 2021, ESIC has made a referral to Valve including substantial evidence indicating the existence of potential betting fraud perpetrated by individuals participating or associated with those who were participating in the CIS RMR event run by EPIC.
ESIC has received evidence via its global Suspicious Betting Alert Network (SBAN) that the CEO of Project X, the team from which the Akuma roster emerged, Oleksandr Shyshko, has an active CSGO betting account and has placed numerous bets on highly suspicious Project X matches (when most of the current Akuma roster were playing as Project X) and, crucially, made accurate pre-match bets on the outcome of the Virtus Pro v Akuma match in the CIS RMR, the conduct of which match is subject to the current public cheating allegations against Akuma.
WHAT ESIC HAS IDENTIFIED
During the course of normal operations of the global SBAN, information was made available to ESIC indicating:
- Betting and client information;
- Match and player behaviour analysis data;
- Prior behaviour data;
- Other relevant information.
In assessing the evidence, ESIC determined that there was a reasonable basis to believe that potential match-fixing and/or betting fraud behaviour was perpetrated. Having no insight into the operation of the tournament nor any jurisdiction over the tournament, ESIC referred the matter to Valve for consideration.
WHAT ESIC HAS ACTIONED
Until the outcome of any investigation by Valve (or, if asked to investigate further, ESIC), ESIC is recommending to its Tournament Organiser members that they do not accept entries from Akuma or any team with a roster made up of more than 3 of the current Akuma players or any team associated with Oleksandr Shyshko.
COMMENT FROM IAN SMITH, COMMISSIONER OF ESIC:
“While ESIC has not undertaken a full investigation into the detail, extent, and validity of any particular instances of match-fixing behaviour and the perpetrators of such behaviour – information on hand would indicate that this is a matter worth investigating further; certainly, if ESIC did have jurisdiction, we would have opened a full investigation based on what we already know. ESIC has therefore referred the evidence available to us to Valve for further consideration.”