Tom B. June 6, 2019
Retired Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert revealed he was approached to fix matches on a number of occasions.
Speaking to esports journalist Richard Lewis, n0thing looked back over his career and discussed how CS:GO has changed at the competitive level. Along the way, he reminisced on the iBUYPOWER scandal and his own experiences with match fixers.
“I had heard that from a couple of other people, my teammates at the time would get the same message and we’d just laugh about it and be like 'my gosh, I think that wasn’t a joke,'” n0thing said.
Match fixing in esports typically occurs when a third party has a betting interest in a specific team losing, and offers players money to increase the likelihood of a winning bet. The biggest example of this in CS:GO occurred in 2014 during the fifth season of the CEVO Professional League when iBUYPOWER lost to NetcodeGuides.com.
It was later revealed that the iBUYPOWER team had intentionally thrown the game, which saw CS:GO publisher Valve ban the participants from tournaments it sponsored indefinitely. While some argued that the punishment was too severe, the move raised awareness of match fixing in esports and gave players a strong incentive to maintain the game’s integrity.
n0thing states he never accepted any offers and didn’t take them seriously at the time, though in hindsight he fears they may have been legitimate.
If the messages n0thing received were genuine, there was often more money to gain by throwing matches than by winning first-place prizes in tournaments. While n0thing and his teammates never pursued the offers, there is no telling how many other players actually have followed through.