NEWS & PRESS

June 05, 2024

The International Olympic Committee and the Esports Integrity Commission Announce Historic Collaboration

 LONDON, United Kingdom – The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and in particular the IOC’s Olympic Movement Unit for the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC), proudly announce a historic letter of collaboration which will see the organisations work together and exchange information, expertise and best practices to combat corruption and other misconduct in esports. 

The IOC’s OM Unit PMC, known for its commitment to safeguarding sports from corruption, will work closely with ESIC, the global industry body recognised for its standards on integrity in esports, across several key areas. The collaboration will involve the sharing of information and insights relating to esports integrity, and the development and implementation of strategies, initiatives and programs aimed at enhancing the integrity of esports. ESIC will also function as a specialist advisory body to the IOC and OM Unit PMC, providing guidance on esports related matters. 

Friedrich Martens, Head of the OM Unit PMC at the IOC commented: “With numerous IFs organising esports competitions and the IOC planning to organise relevant competitions as well, we need to ensure that we have all the information and intelligence available to make sure that these competitions are free of manipulations or related breaches. Therefore we are very happy about this letter of collaboration formalising the long-standing communication between ESIC and the OM Unit PMC, particularly as esports is a developing area. Thus, we count on the support of ESIC for safeguarding the integrity and credibility of the esports competitions of the Olympic Movement, specifically to also further understand relevant risks and develop all right measures to mitigate them. 

Stephen Hanna, Chief Executive Officer of ESIC expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating: “This collaboration with the IOC and the OM Unit PMC denotes a significant milestone for the global esports industry and is a testament to the IOC’s engagement with the industry in the development of its esports strategy. We are looking forward to working with the IOC to support its ambitious esports initiatives. This collaboration further validates the critical nature of ESIC’s mission and provides the industry with further assurance that ESIC’s work is meeting the evolving challenges to competitive integrity in esports.” 

About ESIC (Esports Integrity Commission) 

ESIC is the recognised guardian of the integrity of esports and works to disrupt, prevent, investigate, and prosecute all forms of cheating and malpractice in esports. Its overarching objective is to protect youth, promote industry investment, and safeguard the sporting integrity of esports. By addressing issues such as cheating, match-fixing, and doping, ESIC works to ensure fair play and integrity across all esports competitions. It collaborates with publishers, tournament organisers, and other stakeholders to establish unified standards for competition integrity, fostering a safe and equitable environment for all participants in the global video games and esports ecosystem. 

About IOC (International Olympic Committee) and OM Unit PMC 

The International Olympic Committee is the guardian of the Olympic Games and the leader of the Olympic Movement. A truly global organisation, it acts as a catalyst for collaboration between all Olympic stakeholders, including the athletes, the National Olympic Committees, the International Federations, Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, the Worldwide Olympic Partners and Media Rights-Holders. It also collaborates with public and private authorities including the United Nations and other international organisations. In 2017, on the recommendation of the International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI), the IOC created the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC). The Unit has established model rules, a robust awareness raising campaign, and an intelligence system for the entire Olympic Movement. The OM Unit PMC supports International Sports Federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), multi-sports event organisers and other sports organisations in their efforts to protect the integrity of sport. It has also entered into partnerships with other stakeholders and supports various initiatives of intergovernmental organisations. 

NEWS & PRESS

May 14, 2024

Kambi and Abios Join ESIC as Anti-Corruption Supporters

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is pleased to announce Kambi and Abios, its esports data subsidiary, as new ESIC Anti-Corruption Supporters. This partnership signals  the alignment of Kambi’s longstanding commitment to corporate probity and sports integrity with ESIC’s ongoing battle against match-fixing and corruption in esports. 

Kambi and Abios join a distinguished class of other Anti-Corruption Supporter stakeholders who have  historically worked with ESIC to ensure that attacks against the competitive integrity of esports competition  are appropriately reported and dealt with. Anti-Corruption Supporters assist ESIC in investigating  suspicious betting activity, supporting ESIC’s broader mission to combat cheating and betting fraud in the  esports industry. Kambi and Abios’ entrance into the Anti-Corruption Supporter class will see the entities  actively work with ESIC to assist in ESIC’s mission to disrupt, prevent, investigate and prosecute all  attempts to compromise competitive integrity in esport competition. 

Abios’ Managing Director and Founder, Anton Janér commented: 

“Our mission at Abios has always been to enable the sustainable growth of esports. As such, we’re incredibly excited to join ESIC in their mission to future-proof esports through combatting match-fixing and other integrity-related malpractices. Fair play is a crucial component in ensuring the viability of esports as a long-term community and investment and we hope to be able to support the industry together with ESIC  going forward.” 

Stephen Hanna, ESIC’s Chief Executive Officer commented: 

“We are pleased to welcome Kambi and Abios as Anti-Corruption Supporters. Kambi and Abios are well  trusted and recognised operators in their respective industries, and their entrance into the Anti-Corruption Supporter class of ESIC membership emphasises their shared commitment to upholding the highest  standards of integrity and fair play within the esports industry.” 

About Kambi 

Kambi is a provider of premium sports betting services to licensed B2C gaming operators. Its services  encompass a broad offering from front end user interface through to odds compiling, customer intelligence  and risk management, built on an in-house developed software platform. Kambi’s 40-plus customers  include ATG, Bally’s Corporation, Corredor Empresarial, Kindred Group, LeoVegas, LiveScore, Rush  Street Interactive and Svenska Spel. Kambi employs more than 1,000 staff across offices in Malta  (headquarters), Australia, Denmark, Philippines, Romania, Sweden, the UK and the United States. 

For more information about Kambi, please visit https://www.kambi.com/ 

About Abios 

Abios facilitates the growth of a sustainable esports ecosystem by fueling enterprises and ambitious  startups with the tools and data needed to build esports projects at scale. With more than 10 years of  experience in esports, Abios provides historical and stream-live data from popular esports titles, such as  Counter-Strike, League of Legends, VALORANT and Dota 2, to sportsbooks, search engines, esports  teams, and others. As part of Kambi Group PLC, Abios provides data-driven odds and widgets to the  regulated betting industry. Using proprietary modelling and innovative product features, Abios is taking  esports betting to the next level. 

For more information about Abios, please visit https://abiosgaming.com/ 

About ESIC 

ESIC is the recognised guardian of the integrity of esports and works to for disrupt, prevent, investigate, and prosecute of all forms of cheating and malpractice in esports, including, but not limited to, match  manipulation and doping with the overarching objective of protecting youth, promoting industry investment  and safeguarding sporting integrity in esports. 

Learn more about ESIC at https://www.esic.gg 

NEWS & PRESS

April 30, 2024

ESIC Announces Establishment of Global Esports Industry Advisory Board

 The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is pleased to announce the establishment of its Global Esports Industry Advisory Board, designed to enhance integrity and ethical practices across the esports landscape. The Advisory Board will serve a pivotal role by providing expert advice to ESIC’s Chief Executive Officer on a range of critical industry issues. 

The primary function of the Advisory Board is to create a robust framework for integrity and fairness, setting a global benchmark for ethical conduct and fair competition in esports. The board will offer strategic insights, help shape policies governing fair play, liaise with key industry stakeholders, and act as ambassadors advocating for ethical practices. 

ESIC has appointed two highly esteemed members to inaugurate this board: 

  • David Neichel, Senior Vice President of Public & International Affairs at ESL FACEIT Group (EFG), joins the Advisory Board with over fifteen years of experience in the video games industry, including significant roles at Activision-Blizzard and Electronic Arts. David’s profound impact on international and public affairs initiatives makes him an invaluable addition to the board. 
  • Robbie Douek, CEO of BLAST, also joins the Advisory Board, bringing a wealth of experience from his roles at Google and Disney, along with his leadership through major acquisitions. Robbie is celebrated for his strategic leadership and his instrumental role in elevating esports to a significant global entertainment platform. 

The formation of the Advisory Board is an engagement that underscores the commitment of its members to upholding and promoting the highest standards of integrity within the esports industry. The board will meet as required to address strategic challenges and ensure that ESIC’s initiatives effectively meet current and future industry needs. 

“Both David and Robbie bring a remarkable depth of knowledge and a passion for advancing the integrity of esports,” said Stephen Hanna, CEO of ESIC. “Their expertise will be crucial as we navigate the evolving landscape of esports and strive to maintain the integrity that our industry expects and deserves.” 

Robbie Douek, CEO at BLAST, said: “I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to support the Global Esports Industry Advisory Board and ESIC in their ambition to create the best and fairest environment possible for players, teams and fans.” 

David Neichel, Senior Vice President of Public & International Affairs at ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) also commented: “It is a true honour to join the Global Esports Industry Advisory Board and support ESIC’s successful journey. Fairplay and integrity are at the core of esports. We owe it to the players and to the fans and for a better endemic industry governance” 

About ESIC (Esports Integrity Commission) 

ESIC is the recognized guardian of the integrity of esports and works to disrupt, prevent, investigate, and prosecute all forms of cheating and malpractice in esports. Its overarching objective is to protect youth, promote industry investment, and safeguard the sporting integrity of esports. 

NEWS & PRESS

April 23, 2024

Public Statement on Sanction Outcome for Roheen “Goon”

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) announces the conclusion of an investigation into the conduct of Roheen “Goon” during his participation in a CS2 tournament. Our investigation confirmed Mr. Roheen’s engagement in prohibited betting activities on the tournament events in which he was a participant, a clear violation of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code.

Key findings from the investigation include evidence from live game footage and verified screenshots of communications with betting operators, which substantiate that Mr. Roheen placed bets on the tournament. His engagement in these activities and subsequent failure to report these activities to ESIC constituted a breach of our Anti-Corruption Code, specifically under items 2.2.1 and 2.4.5.

Given the serious nature of these breaches, ESIC has imposed a Rejection Order against Mr. Roheen “Goon,” effective for a period of nine months starting from 3 April 2024 to 3 January 2025. This sanction, represents a penalty for a reduced period of nine months due to Mr. Roheen’s early plea and responsive measures in removing his bets on the events which form the substance of the sanction.

During this period, Mr. Roheen is prohibited from participating in ESIC member tournaments. The decision to impose this sanction reflects ESIC’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of esports competitions and upholding the highest standards of conduct.

ESIC remains dedicated to ensuring fair play and the ethical conduct of all participants in esports events. We will continue to enforce strict compliance with our Anti-Corruption Code to protect the integrity of the esports industry.

For further information on ESIC’s regulations and the full list of ESIC members, please visit our website at esic.gg. For any questions related to this matter, please contact the Commissioner’s office at commissioner@esic.gg.

 About ESIC

ESIC is the recognized guardian of the integrity of esports and works to disrupt, prevent, investigate, and prosecute all forms of cheating and malpractice in esports, including, but not limited to, match manipulation and doping with the overarching objective of protecting youth, promoting industry investment and safeguarding sporting integrity in esports.

Learn more about ESIC at https://www.esic.gg

 

NEWS & PRESS

April 18, 2024

ESIC Launches the FairPlay Academy: A Milestone in Esports Education for Integrity and Ethics

LONDON, United Kingdom – The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is proud to announce the launch of the FairPlay Academy, a pioneering online learning platform dedicated to the delivery of critical educational programs to esports participants and stakeholders.

At the heart of the FairPlay Academy’s mission is a commitment to make crucial educational resources accessible to all stakeholders of the global esports industry. This initiative is grounded in the belief that knowledge is the key to fostering a culture of integrity among players, coaches, organizers, and fans alike. By providing an extensive range of complimentary tutorials, FairPlay Academy aims to equip individuals with the insights and understanding necessary to uphold the highest standards of conduct and fair play.

The platform’s inaugural offering, the ESIC Anti-Corruption Tutorial, is set to go live on April 17, 2024. The tutorial is designed to confront the challenges of corruption head-on, educating participants about the crucial expectations ESIC holds for those competing in esports, and their obligations to the industry. Through engaging, self-paced learning modules, the tutorial delves into the complexities of corruption, including match-fixing and betting fraud. Participants will emerge with a foundational understanding of anti-corruption measures and practical strategies to mitigate these threats.

The FairPlay Academy is poised to become a dynamic hub for educational content, with plans to continuously expand its library of tutorials. Future offerings will delve into a wide array of topics crucial to the global esports ecosystem, from anti-doping and responsible gaming to professional conduct and conflict of interest management. Each tutorial constructed to ensure relevance and value to esports participants, ensuring that they are well-equipped to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the competitive gaming landscape.

Stephen Hanna, Chief Executive Officer of ESIC, emphasizes the significance of this launch: “The introduction of the FairPlay Academy marks another step forward in our ongoing efforts to champion integrity within esports. With the Anti-Corruption Tutorial leading the way, we are laying the foundation for a comprehensive educational framework that will empower stakeholders across the global esports industry.”

For more information about FairPlay Academy and the Anti-Corruption Tutorial, visit https://www.fairplay.esic.gg or click the link under our “Programs” menu.

About ESIC (Esports Integrity Commission)

 ESIC is the recognized guardian of the integrity of esports and works to disrupt, prevent, investigate, and prosecute all forms of cheating and malpractice in esports. Its overarching objective is to protect youth, promote industry investment, and safeguard the sporting integrity of esports.

 About FairPlay Academy

 FairPlay Academy is an innovative online platform operated by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) aimed at promoting integrity and ethical practices within the esports industry. Through its comprehensive tutorials, FairPlay Academy empowers individuals across the esports ecosystem with the knowledge and tools necessary to foster a fair, transparent, and competitive gaming environment.

NEWS & PRESS

April 11, 2024

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Erkhan “Gokushima” Bagynanov

Introduction to ESIC Public Statement:

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has concluded an investigation into alleged violations of the ESIC Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Code by Erkhan “Gokushima” Bagynanov. This investigation was initiated following the receipt of a detailed interview transcript and corroborating evidence including admissions indicating match-fixing activities.

Findings of the Investigation:

Evidence obtained during the investigation demonstrates that Mr. Bagynanov engaged in conduct violating the ESIC Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Code, specifically related to match-fixing activities in breach of:

ESIC Anti-Corruption Code:

2.1 Corruption:

2.1.1 Fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any effort to fix or contrive in any way or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct, or any other aspect of any Match.

2.2 Betting:

2.2.1 Betting on any Match, including matches that you were a professional participant in during the ESL IEM events as detailed in the infringements above.

2.2.2 Facilitating, aiding, abetting or otherwise assisting any party in committing acts described in 2.2.1. 

2.4.2 to 2.4.5 Failing to disclose to the ESIC a full and true disclosure of all the facts and circumstances with respect to acts described in 2.1 and 2.2.

Further offences under the ESIC Code of Conduct articles as follows;

2.1.5 Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the above offences, conduct that brings Esport, the Game, Event, ESIC or a Member into disrepute.

2.2.8 Match manipulation for inappropriate reasons.

ESIC’s Actions and Sanctions:

Based on its findings, ESIC confirms its sanction by way of a Rejection Order against Erkhan “Gokushima” Bagynanov, effective for a two-year period from the start date below:

  • Start Date: 27 March 2024
  • End Date: 26 March 2026

Accordingly, Mr. Bagynanov is hereby prohibited from participating in any ESIC member events during this period. Compliance with all relevant provisions of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code is required throughout the duration of this Rejection Order.

About ESIC

ESIC is the recognized guardian of the integrity of esports and works to disrupt, prevent, investigate, and prosecute all forms of cheating and malpractice in esports, including, but not limited to, match manipulation and doping with the overarching objective of protecting youth, promoting industry investment and safeguarding sporting integrity in esports.

Learn more about ESIC at https://www.esic.gg

NEWS & PRESS

March 13, 2024

Appeal Decision on Peter “casle” Ardenskjold

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and fair play in the esports industry. In line with this commitment, we wish to inform the public about a recent development concerning the appeal process of Peter “casle” Ardenskjold.

In 2020, Mr. Ardenskjold was sanctioned for his involvement with the exploitation of a coaching bug within CS:GO. Following a comprehensive review and subsequent appeal, we are announcing a modification to the initial sanctions imposed on Mr. Ardenskjold.

After careful consideration, the independent Appeal Chair has decided in favor of reducing Mr. Ardenskjold’s demerit points based on the appeal’s merits and the compelling evidence provided by him. This reduction has a direct impact on his eligibility, making him able to participate in the forthcoming PGL Major, as it also leads to a reduction in his Valve sanctioned Regional Major Rankings (RMR) exclusion period. This change has been communicated to and accepted by Valve.

Mr. Ardenskjold has expressed his gratitude towards ESIC and the independent Appeal Chair for their willingness to consider his appeal, submitted out of the typical timeframe, and for recognizing the significance of the new evidence he presented.

This decision reflects ESIC’s dedication to justice and the reevaluation of cases when presented with new, compelling evidence. It underscores our commitment to a fair and competitive environment for all esports participants.

We extend our best wishes to Mr. Ardenskjold and all participants in the upcoming PGL Major.

About ESIC

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is a not-for-profit organization established to promote and facilitate integrity and fair play in the esports industry. ESIC aims to combat cheating, match-fixing, and other integrity challenges to ensure esports is conducted in a fair and legitimate manner.

For more information about ESIC and our initiatives, please visit our website.

NEWS & PRESS

March 04, 2024

World Intellectual Property Organization and Esports Integrity Commission Announce Groundbreaking Collaboration

LONDON, United Kingdom – The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialised agency of the United Nations, and the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) are thrilled to announce a landmark collaboration aimed at enhancing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms within the global esports and video games industries. This partnership symbolises a pioneering step towards providing the necessary, fit-for-purpose infrastructure suited to addressing and mitigating disputes in these rapidly growing industries.

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, renowned for its leadership in intellectual property (IP) dispute resolution, will work alongside ESIC, the standard-bearer for integrity in esports, to enhance and implement state-of-the-art ADR mechanisms to resolve disputes in video games and esports with expertise and fairness.

The collaboration will focus on several key areas, including joint awareness-raising activities, identifying, and training specialised neutral dispute resolution experts for video games and esports disputes, and more. Both organisations will share their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields to support and guide the collaboration with the aim of optimising the efficiency and just resolution of esports and video games disputes.

“At WIPO, we recognize the growing importance of ADR mechanisms in emerging sectors like videogames and esports. Our collaboration with ESIC signifies a commitment to providing the necessary infrastructure for fair and efficient dispute resolution within the video game industry and esports community”, said Mr. Marco M. Alemán, Assistant Director General, who is leading the IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector at WIPO.

Stephen Hanna, Chief Executive Officer of ESIC, added, “This collaboration with WIPO marks the start of an unprecedented program of work for the global esports and video games industries. We are looking forward to collaborating to build new standards for integrity, dispute resolution, and IP protection in esports and video games. This initiative is a monumental step forward, reflective of our commitment to innovation and the long-term health of the global ecosystem.”

 

About ESIC (Esports Integrity Commission)

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is a global organisation dedicated to maintaining the integrity of esports. By addressing issues such as cheating, match-fixing, and doping, ESIC works to ensure fair play and integrity across all esports competitions. It collaborates with publishers, tournament organisers, and other stakeholders to establish unified standards for competition integrity, fostering a safe and equitable environment for all participants in the global video games and esports ecosystem.

About WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) serves as the global forum for IP services, policy, information, and cooperation. It operates as a self-funding agency of the United Nations, boasting 193 member states. Its mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center offers ADR options, such as mediation and arbitration, to enable private parties to efficiently settle their domestic or cross-border commercial disputes. The WIPO Center is international and specialized in IP and technology disputes.

 

–END OF RELEASE–

Press contacts:

Esports Integrity Commission: press@esic.gg

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center: arbiter.mail@wipo.int

NEWS & PRESS

December 04, 2023

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Alexey Shyshko

 Introduction to ESIC Public Statement on Lifetime Ban of Alexey Shyshko: 

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) today announces a critical action in our ongoing efforts to safeguard the integrity of esports. Following a comprehensive investigation, ESIC has imposed a lifetime ban on Mr. Alexey Shyshko, proprietor of numerous professional esports teams, including Akuma, Majesty and Project X, for severe violations of the ESIC Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Code over a considerable period of time. This ban, effective from October 24, 2023, is in response to Mr. Shyshko’s involvement in orchestrating match-fixing activities and facilitating cheating within various esports competitions. 

As proprietor, Mr. Shyshko misused his influential position to undermine the principles of fair competition and integrity that form the cornerstone of esports. This included manipulating match outcomes for financial gain and providing unfair advantages to his teams in competitive play, encouraging and facilitating various players to cheat and match-fix for his financial gain. Such actions not only compromised the integrity of individual matches but also tarnished the reputation of esports as a whole. 

This decision, a first of its kind in terms of its severity, underscores ESIC’s commitment to enforcing strict adherence to its codes and ensuring a level playing field for all participants. The lifetime ban of Mr. Shyshko, accompanied by additional sanctions on associated teams and individuals, serves as a stark reminder that any form of corruption or unethical behavior within the esports arena will be met with the most serious consequences. 

ESIC’s primary mission remains the preservation of the integrity and fair competition in esports. This case, while regrettable, highlights our unwavering dedication to this mission and our readiness to take decisive action to protect the sport’s integrity and the interests of all fair competitors and fans globally. 

Overview of the Case 

ESIC’s inquiry was propelled by information received through confidential sources, betting evidence provided by our Anti-Corruption Supporters and match analysis provided by experts seconded to us by ESIC member tournament organisers, necessitating a detailed and meticulous examination of the activities surrounding Mr. Shyshko, his multiple teams and large roster of associated players. 

Our investigation unveiled substantial evidence that Mr. Shyshko engaged in activities that flagrantly and consistently violated the principles of fair play and integrity central to the ethos of esports. These activities primarily involved instances of match-fixing and facilitating cheating, which are antithetical to the competitive spirit of esports. 

In one egregious incident, Mr. Shyshko was implicated in facilitating a match-fixing agreement during a Bulgarian LAN event, involving Team Majesty, which he owned and controlled. This plan, executed between August 20, 2020, and December 2, 2020, involved the deliberate manipulation of match outcomes with the promise of financial gain for the participating players. In another disturbing instance, during the “Time of Bet Cup” event, Mr. Shyshko provided Team Majesty with an unfair advantage by enabling unauthorized communication methods, significantly compromising the integrity of the competition. 

The findings made by ESIC during its investigations into Mr. Shyshko’s behaviours paint a clear picture of Mr. Shyshko’s involvement in corrupt practices that directly contravened the ESIC Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Code, reflecting a calculated disregard for the fundamental principles of esports integrity. 

The severity of Mr. Alexey Shyshko’s actions cannot be understated. His involvement in orchestrating match-fixing and facilitating cheating not only breached the trust of players, teams, and fans but also threatened the very foundation of fair competition in esports. These actions, uncovered during our thorough investigation, clearly violated specific sections of the ESIC Code. 

The investigation revealed that Mr. Shyshko’s conduct breached Section 2.1 of the ESIC Code of Conduct, which mandates that esports participants must not engage in any form of cheating, match-fixing, or any other activities that undermine the integrity of esports. Additionally, his actions contravened Section 3.1 of the Anti-Corruption Code, which prohibits participants from engaging in betting, gambling, or similar activities that could lead to conflicts of interest. Furthermore, the violations also fell under the purview of Section 6.1 of the ESIC Disciplinary Procedure, which stipulates that participants found guilty of engaging in cheating or match-fixing are subject to a range of sanctions, including fines, suspensions, or disqualification from competition. 

This background forms the basis of the sanctions imposed on Mr. Shyshko, reflecting ESIC’s unwavering commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity within the esports industry. 

ESIC’s Actions and Sanctions: 

In response to the grave violations committed by Mr. Alexey Shyshko, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has taken decisive and stringent actions to uphold the integrity of esports and enforce its Integrity Program. The following summarizes the key actions and sanctions imposed: 

Issuance of a Rejection Order Against Alexey Shyshko: 

ESIC has issued a Rejection Order against Mr. Shyshko, effective from October 24, 2023, culminating in a lifetime ban from all ESIC member events. This unprecedented sanction reflects the seriousness of Mr. Shyshko’s offenses and serves as a strong deterrent to others who might contemplate similar violations. 

The Rejection Order encompasses a comprehensive participation restriction, prohibiting Mr. Shyshko from participating in any capacity—whether as owner, agent, or manager—in any ESIC member events. Additionally, any team or player in which Mr. Shyshko has an interest or involvement is also barred from participating in ESIC member events. 

Mr. Shyshko was served with the Rejection Order and given an opportunity to respond. It is noted that Mr.Shysko did not contest ESIC’s charge and expressed an acceptance of the charges and the sanction applied by ESIC. 

Sanctions on Teams and Individuals Associated with Shyshko: 

Earlier this week, ESIC handed down additional sanctions for participants associated with the teams implicated in Mr. Shyshko’s behaviour. This action reinforces the principle that entities linked to corrupt practices will face serious repercussions. Further investigations and potential prosecutions remain in progress. 

Protection and Immunity for Cooperating Individuals: 

In recognition of the valuable assistance provided by several individuals during the investigation, ESIC has granted immunity to those who cooperated in bringing this outcome to pass. This decision underscores ESIC’s commitment to encouraging reporting of unethical behavior while ensuring the safety and anonymity of informants. 

Through these actions, ESIC affirms its steadfast dedication to maintaining the integrity of esports. These sanctions are a clear message that violations of the ESIC Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Code will be met with the utmost seriousness and result in significant consequences. This stance is vital in preserving the spirit of fair competition and the trust of players, teams, and fans in the esports ecosystem. 

Conclusion and ESIC’s Comments 

In conclusion, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) reaffirms its unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity within the esports industry. The rigorous investigation and subsequent sanctions imposed on Mr. Alexey Shyshko and associated individuals reflect our resolve to confront unethical behavior head-on and protect the essence of fair competition. 

ESIC remains vigilant and proactive in identifying and addressing threats to the integrity of esports. We continue to refine our monitoring and investigative processes, working collaboratively with teams, players, and event organizers to foster an environment where fair play is paramount. 

We encourage all stakeholders within the esports industry – players, teams, organizers, and fans – to join us in this important endeavor. By working together, we can create a landscape that not only values competitive excellence but also champions ethical conduct and respect for the rules. 

ESIC is committed to maintaining transparent and open lines of communication with all members of the esports community. We welcome feedback, collaboration, and information that can aid in our mission to maintain a clean and reputable competitive environment. 

About ESIC 

ESIC is the recognized guardian of the integrity of esports and works to for disrupt, prevent, investigate, and prosecute of all forms of cheating and malpractice in esports, including, but not limited to, match manipulation and doping with the overarching objective of protecting youth, promoting industry investment and safeguarding sporting integrity in esports. 

Learn more about ESIC at https://www.esic.gg 

NEWS & PRESS

November 30, 2023

Public Statement on Outcome of Provisional Sanction against Participant Joel “Joel” Holmlund

Overview

In September, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) provisionally suspended Mr. Joel Hulmlund for serious breaches of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code (see our Statement here: Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Joel “Joel” Holmlund – ESIC).

Notably, the provisional suspension of Mr. Holmlund, was related to his behavior while being a professional player for the team Godsent. Namely, that he had engaged in corrupt behavior contravening the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code during his participation in the BetBoom Playlist Urbanistic event, and separately in the IEM Dallas 2023 (Europe Closed Qualifier) involving Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), in the following manner:

  1. Between the period of 27 March 2023 to 28 March 2023, Mr. Holmlund placed bets on matches he was playing in;
  2. On 31 March 2023, Mr. Holmlund placed two bets against his own team in one match; and
  3. Between the period of 29 March 2023 to 1 May 2023, Mr. Holmlund proceeded to place 17 bets on various CS:GO matches.

As part of ESIC’s process in this matter, Mr. Holmlund was given an opportunity to provide further evidence on or before 6 October 2023, and to further cooperate with ESIC’s investigation. While Mr. Holmlund was unable to provide any evidence to the contrary of ESIC’s charges, Mr. Holmlund made significant efforts to cooperate with ESIC’s investigation.

Importantly, as a result of ESIC’s investigation, and with significant consideration of Mr. Holmlund’s cooperation, assistance, genuine contrition and commitment to seeking professional help, ESIC has concluded this investigation by issuing Mr. Holmlund with a Rejection Order spanning the period of 30 August 2023 to 6 January 2024.

This In the interest of transparency and public confidence, we are issuing this statement to inform the public about the considerations taken into account in arriving at the outcome of this matter and to provide examples of the matters and actions ESIC may consider in any future interaction with a participant under investigation or convicted of an offence under the ESIC Codes.

Assistance with Investigations:

ESIC is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and fair play in the esports industry. As part of our commitment, ESIC sometimes offer individuals under investigation, or those already convicted, the opportunity to assist in our broader investigations. This can lead to a reduction in their sanctions or, in certain cases, exemption from prosecution. In the recent investigation involving Mr. Holmlund, he provided ESIC with crucial information pertinent to various ongoing inquiries. His full and candid cooperation was helpful to ESIC’s ongoing investigations. Consequently, we have decided that a reduction in Mr. Holmlund’s suspension is warranted and aligns with the principles of fairness and justice.

ESIC encourages individuals facing investigation or sanction within the esports industry to come forward and collaborate with ESIC. By providing valuable information and aiding in our investigations, they not only contribute to the integrity and transparency of the esports industry but also stand to benefit from potential reductions in their penalties. This approach underscores our commitment to fairness and the importance of cooperative efforts in maintaining the highest ethical standards in esports. We believe that this approach not only aids in effective enforcement but also fosters a culture of responsibility and honesty among participants.

Recognition of Gambling Problems and Consequences

It became apparent early in our interactions with Mr. Holmlund that he fit the gambling industry’s definition of a problem gambler – someone who lacks control over their gambling habits and exhibits signs of addiction. Throughout his initial discussions with ESIC, where Mr. Holmlund was supported by skilled legal counsel, he acknowledged his gambling issues and agreed to pursue professional counseling and treatment. ESIC considers this behavioral issue as a significant factor contributing to Mr. Holmlund’s involvement in betting on CSGO, which was in violation of the ESIC Codes. However, Mr. Holmlund’s commitment to seek help was considered favorably when concluding on the duration of the Rejection Order issued.

Apology and Commitments to the Community

Mr. Holmlund has not only expressed his willingness to apologise to the CS and wider esports community for his actions (as detailed in his statement below and on social media), but he has also agreed to collaborate with ESIC in our participant education program. He will contribute by creating video content that highlights the risks associated with betting on one’s professional game and more broadly addresses the negative aspects of gambling, especially for those who struggle with responsible gambling. ESIC is confident that Mr. Holmlund’s involvement in this initiative will greatly benefit the esports community by enhancing understanding and management of the relationship between esports and betting on these events.

Suggestions of Match-Fixing

It has been alleged that, in addition to the betting offences committed by Mr. Holmlund, he also deliberately underperformed in order to win bets where he had bet against his own team. Upon further investigation and assessment, and in the interest of justice, ESIC wishes to clarify that there is no compelling or conclusive evidence that this is true.

Practical Outcomes

The conclusion of this investigation and the corresponding Rejection Order duration will mean that Mr. Holmlund will have served an effective 7 month ban from ESIC member events, which we believe is proportionate to his original offences when looked at together with the assistance and commitments detailed above. Accordingly, he is free to play in any ESIC member event from 6th January 2024 onwards.

Statement from Mr. Holmlund

Dear Members of the Esports Community,

 I am writing this statement to openly and sincerely apologize for my actions that have affected the CSGO and broader esports community. It is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge my involvement in betting on professional CSGO matches, a clear violation of the ESIC Codes and the trust you placed in me as a member of this community.

 Reflecting on my actions, I realize the gravity of my mistake and the negative impact it has had on the integrity of the sport we all love and cherish. My behavior was not only irresponsible but also undermined the principles of fair play and sportsmanship that are the foundation of competitive gaming.

 I understand that being a professional in the esports industry carries with it a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of conduct. My actions fell short of these standards, and for that, I am truly sorry. I have let down my fans, teammates, and the entire esports community, and for this, I take full responsibility.

 As part of my commitment to rectify my actions, I have agreed to participate in ESIC’s participant education program. Through this, I aim to share my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned, highlighting the dangers of betting on professional games and the broader risks associated with irresponsible gambling. I hope that by sharing my story, I can prevent others from making similar mistakes and contribute positively to the community I care deeply about.

 I am currently seeking professional counseling and treatment for my gambling issues. This journey towards recovery is not just about complying with the sanctions but is a personal commitment to better myself and rebuild the trust I have lost.

 I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and to contribute to the betterment of the esports community. Thank you for your understanding and support during this time.

 Sincerely,

Joel

 ESIC’s Commitment to Integrity

ESIC remains steadfast in our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of integrity in esports. We will continue to conduct investigations and impose sanctions when necessary to protect the integrity of the industry. We also encourage the esports community to actively participate in promoting fair play and integrity in esports. We would strongly encourage participants with knowledge of corrupt acts to come forward and talk to us. We are already discretely working with several players in addition to Joel to either indemnify them from prosecution in return for valuable information or to reduce sanctions in return for information leading to prosecution of bad actors in esports. If you know something, please consider coming forward voluntarily or face harsher sanctions when you are eventually caught.

About ESIC

ESIC is the recognized guardian of the integrity of esports and works to for disrupt, prevent, investigate, and prosecute of all forms of cheating and malpractice in esports, including, but not limited to, match manipulation and doping with the overarching objective of protecting youth, promoting industry investment and safeguarding sporting integrity in esports.

Learn more about ESIC at https://www.esic.gg