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The FBI has apparently started looking into the issue of cheating in North American pro matches of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The long-running FPS has its issues with cheaters, like any online game, but an FBI investigation certainly seems like a big deal.
As per a report from Kotaku, Ian Smith, the commissioner of the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC),confirmed the organisation is currently working with the FBI as part of an investigation into "a relatively small but significant group of players over a long period of time, organising match fixing in North American MDL".
"It's what I would describe as classic match-fixing - players being bribed by outside betting syndicates in order to fix matches, rather than players just doing it off their own bat opportunistically. It's been going on for longer, Smith explained in an interview with YouTuber slash32. "It's much more organised." Smith added that the FBI has only recently introduced a sports betting unit, and that everybody is still "finding their feet".
"So again, to some extent, we're working with law enforcement and the FBI, who only recently have had a sports betting investigative unit within the FBI," he said. "They're good, but they're inexperienced because sports betting has never been a big thing in America until recently, so everybody's kind of finding their feet on that one."
Smith also touched on an Australian investigation into CS:GO cheating that appears to be nearing its end. In January the ESIC took action again 35 Australian players who breached its Anti Corruption Code by betting on ESIC member matches, including games played either by themselves or their teams.
"I'm optimistic that we'll be able to go public with this soon, within the next 10 days to two weeks," Smith added. "The betting scandal in Australia where whilst it was a large group of players - and there definitely is match-fixing there, and we're working with law enforcement there, it takes a lot longer there once you start working with the police.
"Fortunately in Australia, these are criminal offences. So getting it all coordinated with the police takes a lot longer. We've got great solid cases there, and if it was just us acting alone, we'd announce those prosecutions now. But it isn't all 42 guys that were betting - it's a much smaller group within that who were not just betting, but manipulating outcomes."
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