After a long period of silence, ESIC have finally issued an update on the ongoing investigation into match-fixing within North American Counter-strike, particularly within the ESEA league.
This will be the first official reaction relating to the year-long investigation ESIC have issued since they recommended ESEA ban five players after a recording of a match-fixing proposal was made public.
However, those expecting more names to be implicated will likely be disappointed, as the latest measures only relate to those implicated by the recording. It’s still not clear how long it will take to issue penalties or clear the names of the other 34 individuals under investigation.
Five-year bans were issued to Sebastian ‘retchy’ Tropiano and Kevin ‘4pack’ Przypasniak, the two players that were openly driving the decision to fix at least one match on the now public recording.
However, ESIC have made it clear that their investigation has found that they both had additional as of yet undisclosed code of conduct violations.
Dexerto has seen additional evidence that seemingly implicates both players in match-fixing activity and that is likely a part of ESIC’s ongoing investigation. While the recording is damning in and of itself the players will have the right to appeal the updated penalty, which is due to end on 1st April 2026.
The bans will apply to ESL, ESEA, DreamHack, WePlay, BLAST, LVP, Nodwin, Eden, Relog, UCC, Allied, Kronoverse, Estars, and 247 Leagues.
Carson ‘nosraC’ O’Reilly was issued a 111-day ban for his part in the recording.
This was issued on the understanding that failure to disclose intent to fix matches from teammates or colleagues is also a violation of ESIC’s code of conduct. The report makes it clear that there has been no evidence forthcoming to suggest O’Reilly actively engaged directly in any match-fixing or illicit betting.
His ban was officially lifted on July 22 and he has since been back in competitive action with his current team ChocoCheck.
Alex ‘vek’ Voynov and David ‘J0LZ’ Jolin were both named on the recording as conspirators in the match-fixing plan although were not present at the time of the recording.
Although both players served a temporary ban from ESEA under the recommendation of ESIC, there is to be no further action taken against them.
The investigation has been of significant interest to both the CS:GO and Valorant communities as fans of both games wait to see who will face what punishments, if any at all.
ESIC have been publicly criticized for taking their time, especially since their Integrity Commissioner, Ian Smith, told YouTuber slash32 that action would be taken in a couple of weeks back in March. Since then, the lack of communication has been met with concerns that ESIC may have bitten off a lot more than they can chew.
The words in this report will do little to allay those fears. Some will question why it has taken months to issue official bans for players recorded planning to fix a match, especially if they have additional substantiating evidence.
However, this is partially explained by ESIC in their summary.
“Most pertinent to the complications faced and the length of this investigation,” they wrote, “is ESIC’s observation of compelling evidence that suggests that organized crime groups and foreign betting syndicates were involved in fraudulent activities during the course of season 35 of the ESEA Premier: North America.”
ESIC did not give an estimated end date either. They said the investigation “must be completed with the time and attention required, no matter how long.”
There is some good news for those taking an active interest in ESIC’s attempt to police esports; the introduction of their ‘Transparency Initiative’.
As part of a desire to keep communities up to date with what they are doing, they have published a register of active investigation which will show the date the investigation started, what stage the investigation is at, and each published update around the investigation.
ESIC suggests the database will include all information pertaining to sanctions and appeals of relevant players by the end of the year.