Chinese CSGO is “80% fixed” according to ESIC commissioner

Kenneth Williams • September 1, 13:34

The head of the Esports Integrity Commission has called into question the legitimacy of professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive play in China.

The Esports Integrity Commission is the leading body on integrity and fair play across esports and is most active in CSGO. Commissioner Ian Smith is the face of the organization. In a recent interview with multiple CSGO personalities, he referred to the Chinese pro scene as “fixed,” implying that a large number of matches in the region are fraudulent. 

The ESIC commissioner made these statements during the most recent episode of HLTV Confirmed, hosted by Zvonimir “Professeur” Burazin, Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill, and Milan “Striker” Švejda. He was brought on to discuss the recent two-year ban of former Heroic coach Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen. But the show took a controversial turn when the subject of match-fixing’s greater impact was raised. 

“Who takes the hit? Prize money reduces when sponsors back out, when broadcasts stop, when HLTV don’t want to put something on because they think it’s corrupt or fixed like 80% of Chinese CSGO. Why is there no Chinese CSGO on HLTV? Because it’s fixed! It’s not worth putting on, right? …It’s the players who take the hit, and you guys who take the hit!” Smith said.

SPUNJ went wide-eyed upon hearing the number. Professeur and Striker, both of whom work for HLTV, nodded their heads in agreement. 

Several CSGO betting sites and analysis services use HLTV as their first line of integrity assurance. Ian Smith’s Esports Integrity Commission is the last resort for ensuring fair play. HLTV is the most comprehensive database of competitive CSGO statistics, both historical and contemporary. If HLTV declares a match to be invalid, fake, or fixed, most tournament organizers and hosts will follow its lead. 

Is CSGO big in China?

China is an extremely valuable market for all sorts of technology sectors, and that includes both gaming and esports. Chinese teams are present at the top levels of several esports including League of Legends, Dota 2, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and many mobile titles.

The Chinese CSGO player base reportedly grew over 200% to around 100,000 average players in 2019 alone. Despite recent laws designed to crack down on gaming, China is still a juggernaut in the world of esports and gaming. 

Exact player counts for CSGO in China are difficult to find, but the country usually gets some representation at larger invitational tournaments. Vici Gaming attended IEM Cologne earlier this year but failed to advance past the play-in stage. VG is commonly considered the best CSGO team in China. TYLOO is another successful Chinese CSGO team. Tyloo’s biggest championship is a $75,000 victory at the StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Chongqing in 2018.

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