ESIC issues 35 bans for betting-related offences in Australia
The esports watchdog group has released the latest findings of its large investigation into betting activity in Counter-Strike.
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has announced that it has banned 35 players for periods ranging from 12 months to five years for breaches of its Anti-Corruption Code in member events in Australia. These bans are in addition to the sanctions handed down to seven players in October for placing bets on ESEA MDL Australia matches.
The offences, which include betting on an individual's own team and against it, have been reported to local authorities as they represent a potential breach of the criminal law in Australia, ESIC explained. The association noted that it has not yet made a ruling on whether there have been acts of match-fixing as the investigation — which is being carried out in conjunction with law enforcement — is still ongoing.
ESIC added that "the presence of collusive behaviour by close associates" of the offending parties was detected during the course of the investigation. These non-player associates, who in several instances "placed identical bets to those placed by the offending parties", have also been referred to the authorities.
While analysing the data at its disposal, ESIC created a sanctions matrix with five levels to ensure that the bans were "were consistent and proportional to the offences". You can find that matrix below:
Betting on matches - 12 months
Betting on own games - 24 months
Aggravated betting (over 10 matches) - 36 months
Betting against team - 48 months
Aggravated betting against own team - 60 months
Below is the complete list of people who have been banned by ESIC for betting offences in Australia since October:
Jeremy "motion" Lloyd - 12 months
Patrick "Falcon" Desousa - 12 months
Johnathan "Del" Sackesen - 12 months
Grayson "vax" Uppington - 12 months
Aidan "Meta" Wiringi Jones - 12 months
Kaito "MinusTheCoffee" Massey - 12 months
Mason "MSN" Trevaskis - 12 months
Johnny "jcg" Grima - 12 months
Isaac "Prodigy" Dahlan - 12 months
Billy "BeeTee" Thomson - 12 months
Kieren "Muzoona" Jackson - 12 months
Matthew "ZILLA" Zdilar - 12 months
James "Roflko" Lytras - 12 months
Damon "damyo" Portelli - 12 months
Jak "jtr" Robinson - 12 months
Daniel "rekonz" Mort - 12 months
Nicolas "lato" Gullotti - 12 months
Marcus "MDK" Kyriazopoulos - 12 months
Joel "PEARSS" Kurta - 12 months
James "Jamie" Macphail - 12 months
Ionica "Bowie" T. - 12 months
Joshua "Joshaaye" Wilson - 12 months
Ryan "kragz" Clarke - 12 months
Stephen "stvn" Anastasi - 12 months *
Damian "JD" Simonovic - 12 months *
Carlos "Rackem" Jefferys - 12 months *
Joshua "jhd" Hough-Devine - 12 months *
Corey "nettik" Browne - 12 months *
Roman "matr1kz" Santos - 24 months
Cailan "Caily" Lovegrove - 24 months
Akram "ADK" Smida - 24 months *
Andy "Noobster" Zhang - 36 months
Jayden "foggers" Graham - 48 months
Sam "Tham" Mitchell - 48 months
M. "Habbo Hotel" Poduje - 48 months
Samuel "samy" Jarvis - 48 months
Daniel "Deezy" Zhang - 48 months
John "wots" Zhu - 48 months
Daryl "Mayker" May - 48 months *
Matthew "Jam" Castro - 60 months
Alvin "Gravinz" Changgra - 60 months
Wilson "willyKS" Sugianto - 60 months
*Bans started on October 23, 2020
These bans will have effect across ESIC's members, which include ESL, DreamHack and BLAST. The esports watchdog association called on non-member tournament organisers to honour these sanctions.
ESIC underlined the need for "a unified understanding of the implications of inappropriate betting behaviour and observance of anti-corruption mechanisms" to prevent esports from "facilitating attractive fraud opportunities for bad actors". It also reminded that "professional players (at the very least)" should refrain from placing bets on the game from which they earn an income "in order to preserve the integrity of the esports landscape internationally and mitigate the potential for bad actors to take advantage of our sport."
The watchdog association added that it is still conducting other investigations into potential betting offences in "a number of other CS:GO leagues, including leagues located in North America and Europe, and a significant number of other leagues in multiple game titles." Further updates on these probes and the cooperation with law enforcement authorities will be issued "as and when it is appropriate to do so", ESIC said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to Noobster as being a member of AVANT. The Australian organisation has since clarified to HLTV.org that the player only filled in for the team and was never signed.