Valve Bans More ‘Counter-Strike: GO’ eSports Competitors, Issues Ultimatum

The Counter-Strike Global Offensive eSports scene has been racked with match fixing scandals over the last couple of months. Valve issued even more bans to professional players this week and issued a statement warning all players what to avoid if they want to compete competitively in the PC shooter.

Valve banned half a dozen of the top North American Counter-Strike players from competing in any official tournaments after The Daily Dot investigated and found evidence of match fixing in the CEVO professional league. Valve followed up Friday by issuing another 14 indefinite bans with another five suspended until investigations are completed.

The following players have been banned through at least 2015, according to an announcement on ESL. Their cases will be open for re-evaluation in 2016.

  • Kevin “Uzzziii” Vernel
  • Joey “fxy0” Schlosser
  • Robin “GMX” Stahmer
  • Morgan “B1GGY” Madour
  • Damian “DiAMon” Zarski
  • Michal “bCK” Lis
  • Jakub “kub” Pamula
  • Mateusz “matty” Kolodziejczyk
  • Michal “michi” Majkowski
  • Karol “rallen” Rodowicz
  • Mikolaj “mouz” Karolewski
  • Grzegorz “SZPERO” Dziamalek
  • Pawel “innocent” Mocek
  • Jacek “minise” Jeziak

The following five players were banned from the ESL One Katowice 2015 while Valve continues to investigate them.

  • Robin “r0bs3n” Stephan
  • Tahsin “tahsiN” Sarikaya
  • Koray “xall” Yaman
  • Ammar “am0” Cakmak
  • Antonin “TONI” Bernhardt

The competitive Counter-Strike: GO community has grown rapidly enough for Valve to sponsor many third-party events. There’s been a spate of online gambling, however, that involves in-game items. These bets on matches range in the thousands of dollars. This has led to players throwing their matches, sometimes in very inconspicuous ways.

These kinds of match-fixing issues are a sign of the growing popularity of eSports. However, it hurts the credibility of competitive gaming tremendously at a time when tournaments are seeing multi-million dollar prize pools and coverage by ESPN.

As a result, Valve issued the following ultimatum to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players.

“Professional players, teams, and anyone involved in the production of CS:GO events, should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches, associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, or deliver information to others that might influence their CS:GO bets.

“[W]e will always assume that you have access to private CS:GO-related ‘inside information’ that might give you an unfair advantage when placing a bet on any CS:GO game or match.

“Betting using inside information, or even the perception or suspicion thereof, carries a significant risk of damaging your personal brand, your team, your community, and may lead to exclusion from future Valve-sponsored events.”

What do you think of Valve’s response to the cheating and match-fixing that’s taken place in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? Are they taking the right steps are should they go further? Sound off in the comments below.

[Images via Counter-Strike]