One of Spain’s top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams is no more.
According to a statement on the organization’s website, Team Queso has officially dropped its CS:GO roster. The cause of the move is alleged intentional match throwing by the squad at the Liga de Videojuegos Profesional Superliga 2019 in a game opposite Tenerife Titans.
“After analysing the evidence and concluding the investigation into the Superliga Orange CS:GO match that pitted Team Queso against Tenerife Titans on the 14th of May, LVP has determined that the players deliberately lost the match, thereby violating the competition’s code of conduct and damaging the integrity of the competition due to their unsporting behaviour,” Team Queso said in a statement.
As a result of the match throwing, the individual players have each been given a seven-match ban, which forces Queso out of the playoffs.
Though match fixing in esports is typically done for the purposes of making money, Queso allegedly threw the game against Tenerife Titans in an effort to pick their opponent in the playoffs. With a playoff spot already in the team’s pocket, Queso was actively looking to avoid a first-round matchup with Giants Gaming. The Portuguese team was considered one of the favorites to win the event, and losing games gave Queso the opportunity to stand on the other end of the bracket from Giants.
Peter “Shhhack” Belej stated on Twitter that the players did not benefit from losing the game in any way financially.
The situation is reminiscent of a 2012 Olympic women’s volleyball scandal, when the Japanese team was alleged to have thrown a match against Serbia in order to start the competition in a weaker group.
The allegations against Queso stand in contrast to the recent match fixing scandals that have rocked League of Legends. In April, two organizations were given sanctions for throwing matches in conjunction with wagers made against themselves. This resulted in the suspension of several players as well as other officials with the organizations.
Team Queso stated that it will not appeal Liga de Videojuegos Profesional’s decision, but did not state what its plans are for CS:GO moving forward. As for the Queso players, their immediate future is unclear. The ban from Liga de Videojuegos Profesional does not apply to other leagues, and there is no word that the players have received any sanctions from Valve.