Police Arrest Six for Counter-Strike Esports Match-Fixing Down Under

  • First of-its-kind suspicious betting involved in esports tournament
  • Offences carry maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison
  • Five matches were impacted and 20 bets placed in Australia
Male playing computer game in a dark room.
Australian police arrest six for their involvement in esports match-fixing. [Image: Shutterstock]

Suspicious betting investigation

Suspicious betting involving an esports tournament has resulted in the arrest of six people across Australia.

Local police in Victoria passed on information to detectives at the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit and the Organised Crime Intelligence Unit, who initiated an investigation, according to an announcement by Victoria Police.

the first-of-its-kind involving the esports industry

The suspicious betting was linked to a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament that took place in March. According to authorities, it is the first-of-its-kind involving the esports industry.

Arrest warrants issued

Warrants were issued at three properties, two in Mill Park and one in South Morang, both in Victoria, on Wednesday 21 August.

Two 20-year-old Mill Park men, a 22-year old Mill Park man, and a 19-year-old South Morang man were arrested. Western Australia police in Perth issued another warrant; however, no arrests were made.

Residential properties in Mount Eliza, a seaside town in Victoria, were also handed arrest warrants. Two 20-year-old men were arrested.

In what has been described as an “emerging sporting industry” by Neil Paterson, Victoria police assistant commissioner, he said: “It’s important agencies work together to target suspicious activities. These warrants also highlight that police will take any reports of suspicious or criminal activity within esports seriously.”

The crime

It’s reported that the people involved were attempting to fix matches before placing bets on them. At least five matches were impacted and around 20 bets were placed in Australia.

Ian Smith, commissioner of the Esports Integrity Coalition, said:

The work with the police was a step forward in wiping out corrupt behavior within the esports sector.”

Smith continued: “In particular, we welcome these arrests which, we hope, will send a signal to the esports community that match-fixing will not be tolerated.”

The offences related to engaging in behavior that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome on an event, or information that was corrupt for betting reasons. The offences carry up to 10 years in prison.

All six have since been released pending further inquiries and investigations remain ongoing.