Esports Integrity Commission Engaged MDL Match Fixing Investigation
The eSports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has announced the launch of an investigation into fifteen contracted matches in the ESEA MDL league. These games are said to have taken place over the past eighteen months.
The organization has not disclosed the sources of information or the list of suspected teams, but has promised to provide full information about its investigation in the future as speculation continues on social networks regarding players and teams that may be involved in fraud.
Approximately eighteen months ago and on several occasions since, ESIC has received suspicious bet alerts through our global integrity monitoring framework which led us to establish an investigation into potential match-fixing activity in the MDL tournament series administered by one of our members, ESEA (a subsidiary operation of ESL). As we consider this matter to be of industry concern due to social media speculation, we have chosen to provide an update as we begin to finalise our investigation.
UPDATE ON STATUS OF INVESTIGATION:
Nature of investigations into Match Fixing
Investigations into match-fixing are complex and require significant cooperation between a variety of international stakeholders comprising of betting operators, government bodies, law enforcement agencies, and industry stakeholders. Accordingly, as complexities are often not immediately resolvable, investigations into this sort of fraudulent activity take significant time, effort and resources to complete in an appropriate manner. Furthermore, as determinations in this category can often coincide with the prospect of criminal liability, ESIC takes additional steps to ensure that careful skill and attention has been given to all aspects of the investigative process.
ESIC’s Current Position on MDL Match Fixing Allegations
As of the date of this update, ESIC has conducted an extensive and ongoing investigation into the allegations of match-fixing against several parties over the past 18 months. In doing so, we have been liaising with relevant anti-corruption supporters in order to ascertain the validity of allegations by way of evidence gathering, analysis and assessment. We have also been using various investigative tools and contacts to link the bettors who placed the suspicious and unusual bets to the players and teams potentially involved in the match manipulation.
ESIC is now in the concluding stages of its investigation and will issue a formal statement relating to the investigation within four weeks of the date of this update (subject to complications that may arise in the finalization of our investigation).
As of the date of this update, ESIC is maintaining 15 ongoing investigations which we consider to be of significant concern to the industry.