ESEA suspends five players implicated in leaked recording
ESEA has announced the suspension of five players from its platform amid an ongoing investigation into match-fixing in North America from the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC). The news comes in the aftermath of a transcript released by Dust2.us on Friday in which three former Rebirth members openly discussed plans to fix two matches in ESEA MDL Season 35.
Sebastian "retchy" Tropiano and Carson "nosraC" O'Reilly, two players currently playing for ChocoCheck, were suspended alongside their former teammate Kevin "4pack" Przypasniak. OCG members Alex "vek" Voynov and David "J0LZ" Jolin were also handed suspensions, the former being mentioned by retchy as "agreeing to radar" and the latter as "being okay with it." All five players are currently banned on ESEA until May 3 for a "Gambling Violation."
The suspensions will have an impact on the current season of ESEA Premier as both teams are slated to compete in the playoffs, starting on April 13. ChocoCheck currently have enough members on their roster to play with two-stand-ins, whereas OCG have no additional players and will have to hope for an exception from ESEA to add additional members.
The announcement from ESEA is the first action taken upon North American players in a year-long investigation into match-fixing in the region, with ESIC set to officially release its first report within the next ten days.
On Wednesday, ESIC Commissioner Ian Smith revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was now involved in the ongoing investigation, focused on a subset of players who were bribed by outside "betting syndicates" in order to fix matches in an organised fashion.
The following five players are suspended until ESIC concludes its investigation: