September 20, 2023
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has taken decisive action to provisionally suspend Mr. Joel “Joel” Holmlund, a professional esports player, formerly of team Godsent, from all ESIC Member events in light of evidence available corroborating allegations of his multiple breaches of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code.
Overview of the Case
It is alleged that Mr. Joel Holmlund, while being a professional player for the team Godsent, 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), for the following infringements:
- Between the period of 27 March 2023 to 28 March 2023, Mr. Holmlund placed bets on matches he was playing in;
- On 31 March 2023, Mr. Holmlund placed two bets against his own team in one match; and
- Between the period of 29 March 2023 to 1 May 2023, Mr. Holmlund proceeded to place 17 bets on various CS:GO matches.
Although the tournament related to item 1 was not an ESIC member event tournament, the ESIC Codes allow ESIC to issue a Rejection Order pursuant to item 2.A.2 of the Anti-Corruption Code. The tournament related to item 2 was an ESIC member event, and the ESIC Codes give ESIC jurisdiction. This sanction will be issued to all ESIC members and may be adopted by other third parties at their discretion.
Investigation and Charges
Our comprehensive investigation into the matter involved examining:
- Records of individual bets placed during specific events.
- Multiple account registrations and their associated details.
- Digital footprints, including IP addresses, device IDs, and browser information.
- Linkages between the betting accounts and various social media platforms.
- Betting patterns in relation to specific esports matches and in-game performance.
- Records of bets placed on various esports matches.
- Patterns of betting behavior in relation to professional participation.
ESIC is grateful for the cooperation of our Anti-Corruption Supporter member betting operators for providing this evidence.
After collating and reviewing the evidence in light of the allegations, Mr. Holmlund was charged with a breach of ESIC’s Anti-Corruption Code, particularly:
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.
2.2.1 Betting on any CS:GO Match, including matches that you were a professional participant in 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.
2.2.3 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.
And further offences under the ESIC Code of Conduct articles as follows;
2.4.5 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.
Mr. Holmlund was served with a Notice of Charge on 30 August 2023 and given an opportunity to respond. After denying the charges in reply, ESIC gathered additional evidence to assess the veracity of his denials.
Considering the gravity of the allegations, Mr. Holmlund’s current active participation in an ESIC-affiliated event, and being satisfied with the compelling evidence presented in its further investigation, ESIC has elected to suspend Mr. Holmlund via a Rejection Order Notice. While the suspension stands, ESIC remains open to reevaluation should Mr. Holmlund present new evidence by 6 October 2023.
At the time of publication, as the Rejection Order Notice has not been finalised, ESIC will reserve the disclosure of the duration of the ban on participation in ESIC member events to be imposed. ESIC will make a further statement on or after 6 October 2023 to confirm the final outcome of the investigation.
The ESIC Open Matters Register, found on the ESIC website, will facilitate any further public updates about this matter as published by ESIC from time to time, and at its discretion.
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