ESIC bans seven CSGO players for betting-related offences in MDL

By Fariha Bhatti


Oct 23, 2020

Reading time: 3 min

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community has been shaken by another cheating scandal. 

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has released an initial report in which seven players have been issued a 12-month ban for their involvement in betting offenses. 

The ESIC and ESEA have been conducting a joint investigation on multiple breaches of Anti-Corruption Code in Mountain Dew League (“MDL”) for 18 months. The watchdog has finally revealed a list of seven players banned for placing wagers in MDL. 

The list released by ESIC included the majority of players from Team Rooster and Rooster 2. The other two are from Ground Zero Gaming and Lakers. 

List of Banned Players: 

  • Stephen “stvn” Anastasi
  • Akram “⁠ADK⁠ Smida
  • Daryl “⁠Mayker⁠ May
  • Corey “⁠nettik⁠ Browne
  • Damian “⁠JD⁠ Simonovic
  • Carlos “⁠Rackem⁠ Jefferys
  • Joshua “⁠jhd⁠ Hough-Devine

The report clarifies that some of the players placed bets on the matches that they were participating in themselves.

“Some of these individuals engaged in a betting activity related to matches they were playing in themselves. Further to this, ESIC has identified that several associates of the Offending Parties also participated in betting activities related to the matches being played by the Offending Parties.” ESIC’s report revealed. 

Involvement of law enforcement entities in MDL betting cases

The release holds the seven players accountable for not only breaking ESEA’s MDL tournament rules but breaching Article 2.2 of ESIC’s anti-corruption code. The punishment has also been rendered following Article 6 of the code.

According to ESIC’s summary, the seven players have been slapped with a year-long ban, prohibiting them from playing CSGO tournaments backed by ESIC. While the players can’t compete in ESL, DreamHack, WePlay!, BLAST, NODWIN Gaming, LVP, Eden Esports, the watchdog has also advised other tournament organizers to honor the punishments handed to the offenders. 

Generally, ESIC bans are limited to the esports scene, but this offense will require the involvement of law enforcement due to the implications of such violations in different jurisdictions. The esports surveillant reported that the issue has already been referred to the concerned authorities for further investigation. 

The summary reinforces that a thorough investigation is still underway both in Australia and North America, and more systemic match-fixing cases will be evaluated. The ESIC is expected to assess further breaches regarding different natures of betting offenses within MDL. 

The ESIC culminated the report with a message to the esports community. The watchdog advised the players and organizations to refrain from betting activities and to honor the integrity in esports.

The sanction against the players comes weeks after the initial report released by ESIC regarding coaching bug exploit, a fiasco that saw 37 coaches banned from the tournaments.