After eSports organiser ESEA expelled a number of professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player involved in a betting ring, Valve has followed suit, banning those players involved from all future Valve-sponsored events, or ‘Valve Majors’.
The Counter-Strike betting ring scored its members over $10,000-worth of in-game items from just one match, which was thrown by the gamblers for the sake of winning their bets. The subsequent bans issued by ESEA were listed as lasting one year, but the organiser insisted that “ESEA reserves the right to extend the bans indefinitely.”
ESEA further clarified its policy, saying:
“To be clear, after these events originally took place in August, 2014, ESEA put into place a policy that explicitly prohibited players, team managers, or team sponsors from betting on their own matches. We strongly encourage all organizations, regardless of their affiliation with Valve, to mirror and enforce these bans so that a clear message is sent — there is no place for match fixing in professional gaming.”
The list of players banned by both ESEA and Valve includes:
Valve’s firm stance on the matter is uncharacteristic, marking this incident that motivated it noteworthy. Valve’s official statement reads, “all together, the information we have collected and received makes us uncomfortable continuing any involvement with these individuals. Therefore we will be directing our CS:GO event partners to not allow any of the following individuals’ participation in any capacity in Valve-sponsored events.”
“Professional players, their managers, and teams’ organization staff, should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches, associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, or deliver information to others that might influence their CS:GO bets.”
The ban may have robbed the Counter-Strike community of some of its top players, but through ESEA and Valve’s hard-line reaction it has maintained its competitive integrity.