January 22, 2021

The Esports Integrity Commission Issues Sanctions Against 35 Individuals for Betting Offences in Violation of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code


Purpose of Investigation

ESIC is centrally focused on protecting the integrity of the esports landscape. Accordingly, any form of match manipulation, or suspected match manipulation is treated with extreme scrutiny. In order to protect competitive integrity in esports, ESIC facilitates and maintains an “Anti-Corruption” program which prohibits individuals who are participating in ESIC Member Events from placing bets on matches that they are participating in and, indeed, placing bets on any matches using the game in which they play professionally.

ESIC is of a firm belief that the competitive integrity of esports is of central importance to the maintenance of its commercial longevity and viability. Furthermore, the presence of any form of match manipulation or corrupt behaviour is of serious concern to the safety of youth who form a considerable proportion of participants in the industry globally.  Accordingly, it is imperative that esports stakeholders take an aggressive stance against any form of corruption in competitive integrity.

The purpose of the investigations underpinning this release was to identify instances of betting behaviour in violation of ESIC’s Anti-Corruption Code and to exclude by way of sanction the perpetrators of such behaviour from esports globally. It is important to distinguish that, in handing down its sanctions, ESIC does not seek to make a ruling on the presence of match-fixing at this point. Match-fixing is still under investigation with respect to the incidents set out in this release. In particular, betting against one’s own team in a match one is playing in gives rise to a strong suspicion of match-fixing and particular focus is being given in conjunction with law enforcement to those cases, so this release and the sanctions listed do not preclude further action with respect to the incidents or players listed.

Scope of Investigation

Over the past few years, ESIC has been investigating instances of betting behaviour violations and suspected match manipulation on a global scale. While this problem is not unique to ESEA events, the scope of this release will be to explore the result of investigations into such behaviour in Australian CS:GO.

ESIC is currently undertaking other investigations which comprise the examination of a number of other CS:GO leagues including leagues located in North America, Europe and a significant number of other leagues in multiple game titles.

ESIC will provide further updates on its other investigations and collaborations with law enforcement on issues relating to match-manipulation and adverse betting behaviour as and when it is appropriate to do so.



Summary of outcomes

Throughout the course of its investigation ESIC has received and relied upon information from its Anti-Corruption Supporters as well as other information discovered by ESIC in executing further research and information gathering exercises.

A summary overview of the outcomes reached as a result of the investigations conducted by ESIC into the adverse behaviour of participants during ESEA competitions in Australia is set out below:

  • A total of 35 individuals have been observed to be in breach of the Anti-Corruption Code administered by ESIC. This is in addition to the initial 7 individuals previously sanctioned by ESIC on 23 October 2020.
  • In addition to the sanctions issued against 35 individuals, the sanctions against two of the individuals previously sanctioned by ESIC on 23 October 2020 have been increased due to newly available evidence.
  • ESIC has issued sanctions against all 35 individuals. The sanctions issued by ESIC were determined on the basis of the behaviours observed and perpetrated by the individuals on a scale explained below.
  • The offending behaviours which are addressed within this release include:
    • Betting on matches in ESIC member events;
    • Betting on an individual’s own matches in ESIC member events; or
    • Betting against an individual’s own team in ESIC member events.
  • ESIC has referred the matter in its entirety to law enforcement for investigation.
  • In addition to the individuals sanctioned by ESIC, a number of non-player associates who appear to have been participating in adverse betting behaviours have also been detected and referred to law enforcement for investigation.
  • This release does not deal with ascertaining or alleging the presence of match fixing, although the strong possibility of this in a number of cases is still under investigation by both ESIC and law enforcement.

Investigation Results

During the course of ESIC’s investigation into betting behaviour violations of participants in Australian CS:GO member events (“Offending Parties”), ESIC detected three main categories of betting behaviours which violate the Anti-Corruption Code.

These behaviours include:

  1. Betting on matches in ESIC member events;
  2. Betting on an individual’s own matches in ESIC member events; or
  3. Betting against an individual’s own team in ESIC member events.

As the conduct of the Offending Parties observed by ESIC is in breach of Article 2.2 of ESIC’s Anti-Corruption Code (as well as ESEA’s tournament rules), ESIC and ESEA have issued sanctions against the Offending Parties, in accordance with Article 6 of the Anti-Corruption Code. The Offending Parties and their respective sanctions are detailed in Sanction Outcomes which is annexed to this release and marked Annexure A.

In addition to ESIC’s detection and prosecution of Offending Parties, ESIC also detected the presence of collusive behaviour by close associates of the Offending Parties. ESIC observed several instances where close associates of various Offending Parties placed identical bets to those placed by Offending Parties. Whilst ESIC has no jurisdiction to deal with these Individuals, we have referred their behaviour to law enforcement for investigation as being potentially in breach of criminal law.


Sanctions Issued

In determining the sanctions to issue against Offending Parties, ESIC formulated a “Sanctions Matrix” in order to ensure that the punishments issued by ESIC were consistent and proportional to the offences.

After a detailed analysis of the large amount of evidence available to ESIC provided by Anti-Corruption Supporter member bookmakers, it was determined that five levels of sanctions would be applicable to the data set available to ESIC in the resolution of this portion of our investigation. These “Levels of Sanction” are outlined on the following page in brief detail for the purpose of facilitating an understanding of the derivation of the sanctions issued against the Offending Parties.

Table 1 – Sanctions Matrix

Category Level of Sanction Ban Issued
Betting on matches 1 12 Months
Betting on Own Matches 2 24 Months
Aggravated Betting (>10 matches) 3 36 Months
Bet Against Team 4 48 Months
Aggravated Betting Against Team

(>10 matches)

5 60 Months


The Offending Parties and their respective sanctions are detailed in Sanction Outcomes which is annexed to this release and marked Annexure A.

ESIC has, prior to the date of this release, issued the Offending Parties with Notices of Charge detailing the offense, ban applied and appeal mechanisms available to them.

Amendments to previously issued sanctions

In addition to the newly issued sanctions against 35 Offending Parties, ESIC has also amended its sanctions against the two players which were previously sanctioned on 23 October 2020. The details of the amended sanctions are found in Table 2 below:

Offending Party Previous Sanction Amended Sanction
Akram Smida 12 Months 24 Months
Daryl May 12 Months 48 Months

Table 2 – Amended Sanctions

Applicability of sanctions issued as a result of the investigation

As per all investigations conducted by ESIC, our determinations have effect across all of our membership. This includes ESL, DreamHack, WePlay, BLAST, LVP, Nodwin, Eden, Relog, UCC, Allied, Kronoverse, Estars and 247 Leagues.  ESIC also requests that all non-ESIC member tournament organisers honour these bans.

Further implications of breaches of the Anti-Corruption Code

Due to the nature of betting related offences (with certain betting activities potentially breaching criminal codes in particular jurisdictions) and ESIC’s relationships with several law enforcement entities internationally, including in Australia, ESIC has referred this matter to law enforcement.

Reminder to all professional players regarding betting activities

ESIC closely monitors betting activity in esports for the purpose of protecting the industry against bad actors who wish to exploit the industry for personal gain. Without a unified understanding of the implications of inappropriate betting behaviour and observance of anti-corruption mechanisms (such as the Anti-Corruption Code), esports runs the risk of facilitating attractive fraud opportunities for bad actors. Accordingly, it is important that professional players understand that breaches of ESIC’s Anti-Corruption Code are a serious concern.

It is crucially important that professional players (at the very least) abstain from placing bets on the game from which they earn an income in order to preserve the integrity of the esports landscape internationally and mitigate the potential for bad actors to take advantage of our sport.

For reference, an extract from the Anti-Corruption Code found on our website has been placed below:

ESIC Anti-Corruption Code (Article 2.2 Betting):

 The conduct described in the sub-Articles set out in Articles 2.1 – 2.4, if committed by a Participant, shall amount to an offence by such Participant under this Anti-Corruption Code:

2.2.1 Placing, accepting, laying or otherwise entering into any Bet with any other party (whether individual, company or otherwise and including any daily fantasy games in any jurisdiction where such games are regulated by a gambling authority or considered “betting” in a legal or regulatory sense and including “in-game” betting with in game items (e.g. skins etc that have real value)) in relation to the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match or Event in the Game that the Participant plays professionally or is involved in any other capacity, such as manager, coach, agent etc.  Any Participant that has significant involvement (in the entire discretion of the Integrity Commissioner) in a number of Games (such as a team owner or other team official) may not place or otherwise enter into any Bet on any of the Games in which he/she is involved. 

2.2.2 Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging, intentionally facilitating or authorising any other party to enter into a Bet in relation to the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match.

By understanding the implications of certain betting activities as well as adopting and maintaining a proactive stance on anti-corruption, players can assist us in contributing to the safe growth of esports, including their ability to earn an income as professionals.


Cooperation between ESIC and all tournament organisers in relation to anti-corruption matters are essential in the pursuit of safeguarding esports. We appreciate the proactive efforts of the ESEA in working with us diligently to investigate any indication of malpractice by participants within their events. Furthermore, ESIC would like to thank our Anti-Corruption Supporters for their collaboration on the investigation so far.

ESIC would also like to thank Ladbrokes Australia as well as our other Anti-Corruption Supporters who were instrumental in ESIC’s investigation of this matter.

For any further enquiries relating to this matter, please contact us at