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ESIC Bans 35 Australian Pro CS:GO Players Due to Betting Offenses

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International eSports governing body, the Esports Integrity Commission has handed up to five years’ bans from the competitive scene to no less than 35 professional CS:GO players from Australia.

The decision was finalized after a lengthy investigation held jointly by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) and the Esports Entertainment Association (ESEA). They found several different breaches of the infamous Anti-Corruption Code in those players’ domestic Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournaments, ESIC confirmed on January 22.

The lengths and multitudes of these bans have been agreed upon after a huge investigation process of almost two years by the eSports body. As a part of it, they also investigated such claims within the American, Australian, and European CS:GO scenes for the last year or so.

In their conclusive and unforgiving report, ESIC stated: 

“A total of 35 individuals have been observed to be in breach of the Anti-Corruption Code administered by ESIC. This in addition to the initial six individuals previously sanctioned by ESIC on October 23, 2020.”

The convicted betting offenses had reportedly been directed through an Australian gambling app or circle called “Ladbrokes”. The ESIC called for their help in the investigation, and the Sydney-based bookie organization obliged.

The ESIC report also confirmed the reasons behind the charges:

“In some cases, several of the now-banned players also participated in ‘collusive behavior’, sharing details of fixed games with third parties which would lead to them placing identical bets.”

Two more such Australian CS:GO pros, who were also sanctioned in October last year, have had their charges increased after revelations about the same betting offenses as the other 35 gamers.

The huge list of Australian CS:GO pros who have been banned includes some big names in the circuit, and one such name that has switched to another shooter title Valorant. Former Ground Zero superstar Joel “PEARSS” Kurta is that culprit. He has subsequently been banned from the competitive CS:GO scene for a year, which starts on January 22. In Spite of the ban, it is quite unclear whether that will actually affect his career in any way apart from a loss of respect among peers, as he switched to pro Valorant with a team named “WaterBottle”.

The 24-year-old Andy “Noobster” Zhang, another star player from Ground Zero who is often compared to his superstar teammate AVANT, also received a ban that will see him sidelined for 3 long years. 

According to the reports, all of these 35 CSGO players breached the Article 2.2 of ESIC’s infamous Anti-Corruption Code, along with MDL tournament rules set by the ESEA.

Wilson ‘willyks’ Sugianto is the player with the longest ban amongst all, which will span across the next 60 months (5 years).

The previously banned Australian duo Akram ‘ADK’ Smida (Team Rooster) and Daryl ‘Mayker’ May (Ground Zero) have had their bans increased to 4 years and 2 years, respectively.

The Full List of Banned Players

Player NameTeamLength of Ban
Aidan “meta” Wiringi JonesOvert12 months
Jeremy “motion” LloydControl12 months
Johnathan “Del” SackesenLese12 months
Patrick “falcon” Romano De SousaControl12 months
Grayson “vax” Uppington Overt12 months
Kaito “minusthecoffee” MasseyAftermind12 months
John “jcg” GrimaIntegral Nation12 months
Mason “msn” TrevaskisAftermind12 months
Isaac “prodigy” DahlanIntegral Nation12 months
John “jcg” GrimaIntegral Nation12 months
Billy “beetee” ThomsonIntegral Nation12 months
Matthew “zilla” ZdilarMako12 months
Kieren “Muzoona” Jackson-ClapperIntegral Nation12 months
James “roflko” LytrasVertex12 months
Jak “jtr” RobinsonRooster 212 months
Damon “damyo” PortelliLAKERS12 months
Daniel “rekonz” MortRIOT Gaming12 months
Nicolas “lato” GullottiSkyfire12 months
Marcus “mdk” KyriazopoulosReally weird12 months
James “jamie” MacPhailDownfall12 months
Joel “pearss” KurtaWaterbottle (Valorant)12 months
Ioan (Ionica) “bowie” TuleascaLese12 months
Ryan “kragz” ClarkeIncept12 months
Joshua “joshaaye” WilsonNA12 months
Roman “matr1kz” SantosForbidden24 months
Cailan “caily” LovegroveAftermind24 months
Andy “Noobster” ZhangGround Zero36 months
Jayden “foggers” GrahamControl48 months
Mate “habbo hotel” PodujeLakers48 months
Sam “tham” MitchellBuckets48 months
Samuel “samy” JarvisCaught Off Guard48 months
John “wots” ZhuForbidden48 months
Daniel “deezy” ZhangAftermind48 months
Matthew “jam” CastroOvert60 months
Wilson “willyks” SugiantoVertex60 months
Alvin “Gravins” ChanggraNA60 months

Amended Player Bans:

Player NameTeamLength of Ban
Daryl “Mayker” MayGround Zero48 months (previously 12 months)
Akram “ADK” SmidaRooster24 months (previously 12 months)

The ESIC has sent official notices to all of these players and they are subjected to report to law enforcement agencies of their respective regions.

ALso in their report, ESIC addressed the wider CS:GO community by stating:

“It is crucially important that professional players abstain from placing bets on the game in which they earn an income from,” the esports watchdog wrote, “in order to preserve the integrity of the esports landscape internationally and mitigate the potential for bad actors to take advantage of our sport.”

This is not the first time the CS:GO fraternity has faced such a dire and depressing situation. Apart from all the downsides of the situation, it’s a good sign that the fraudulent players did get what they deserved and these bans can open doors to more honest and genuine CS:GO talents in the Australian region. CS:GO fans and followers too, from the Australian zone, will be hoping that the country’s CS:GO community can get back to its prime soon again. 

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