Did forZe just throw a clutch defuse in order to match fix?

By Kenneth Williams


Feb 11, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Losing a clutch round is never a good feeling, but forZe’ players must feel particularly bad after throwing a one-versus-zero on Nuke. Assuming that they were really trying to win it.

In one of the biggest blunders of 2022, Russian squad forZe managed to lose a one-versus-zero defuse clutch. After securing the final kill, surviving forZe player Aleksandr “shalfey” Marenov appeared to wander around the bombiste aimlessly rather than defusing the bomb. This is not the first time a pro team has fumbled an easy round victory in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but that hasn’t stopped fans from accusing the team of match-fixing.

The incident took place in the group stage of Thunderpick Bitcoin Series, a $75,000 online tournament. forZe faced off against Dignitas in the third round of the group stage. Already down a map, forZe needed to win on Nuke to force a third game. During a critical rifle round, forZe’s CT side managed an apparent round victory with a one-on-one clutch from shalfey. That should have been the clear end of the round, but it wasn’t. 

After knocking Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg out of the control room, shalfey began searching the bombsite for an AWP. After finding one, he swiftly turned away from the bomb to go towards vents and ultimately garage. He checked the corpse of a teammate only to return to B without enough time to defuse the bomb. shalfey rushed to save the sniper rifle and forfeited the round for seemingly no reason. This caused some fans to yell about a potential match fix.

Was forZe’s throw an attempt at match fixing?

Right after the unfortunate play, CSGO fans began questioning shalfey’s motives. To the naked eye, there seems to be no explanation whatsoever for this kind of throw. But in reality, forZe’ one-versus-zero it may not have been shalfey’s fault at all. Fan analysis revealed that the player who died in garage originally had a kit on them, but it was picked up by another forZe player after his death. 

shalfey’s goal may have been to grab an AWP and a defuse kit to maximize his net worth. If the kit was still on the corpse he’d assumed, he would have had enough time to return to the B site and defuse the bomb. It wasn’t there, so he had no time to defuse. With that information in mind, it’s easier to see why forZe lost the round, and this clutch defuse loss looks less like an attempt to match fix.