German team Planetkey Dynamics have been disqualified from Rising Stars Europe after winning first place in the $3,000 tournament due to betting violations.
With Rising Stars Europe being the final regional tournament of E-frag.net's series of regional online tournaments that doled out money to lesser known teams, controversy was never far around the corner as the semifinal between two German teams (ALTERNATE aTTaX and Planetkey Dynamics) was shrouded in accusations of the latter team engaging in suspicious playing.
As the complaints of players such as ALTERNATE's Oliver "kzy" Heck forced the tournament admins to take a look and pore over demos, Planetkey went on to play the grand final against Danish team Revival which they won 2-0 (16-4 on de_cache and 16-7 on de_mirage).
r0bs3n is on a team caught up in another betting scandal
Although other insalubrious accusations were ultimately unproven, a joint investigation by E-frag.net's admins and CSGOLounge ultimately found that two players involved in Planetkey, Thilo "syken" Phan and Koray "xall" Yaman, placed extremely high bets on Planetkey to win the game against Revival (syken himself did not play in the grand final though he played in the semifinal).
As betting on oneself violates the Rising Stars ruleset, the team have been officially disqualified from the tournament despite winning it. In addition, syken and xall have been both permanently banned from E-frag.net tournaments in the future.
A statement from CSGOLounge administrator Courtney "Honey" Timpson further clarifies the situation:
"After doing research on the Planetkey vs. Revival game we came across some interesting betting from the players themselves. Although this is strongly frowned upon in general, it's not illegal (betting on themselves). So, according to our rules we will draft this game and give the players the benefit of the doubt because there's no solid evidence of throwing or cheating, just strange bettings patterns - innocent until proven guilty."
As a result of E-frag.net's decision, Danish team Revival will claim the first place prize check whereas runners-up ALTERNATE aTTaX and nevermind will split the second place prize money.
The revised final standings for Rising Stars Europe are therefore:
1. Revival - $2,000
2-3. ALTERNATE aTTaX - $500
2-3. nevermind - $500
4-7. LDLC Blue
8. Planetkey (disqualified)
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter