The FBI is currently investigating an ongoing cheating issue in the North American Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports scene.
As originally reported by Kotaku Australia, the head commissioner of the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) Ian Smith revealed the news during an interview on YouTube.
Speaking with YouTuber slash32, Smith detailed an ongoing investigation involving “a relatively small but significant group of players over a long period of time, organising match fixing in North American MDL”.
Smith elaborates on the type of fixing: “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, and it’s being going on for longer, it’s much more organised.”
Cheating in Counter-Strike has been an issue for some time. Numerous coaches manipulated results in the game last year through a spectator bug.
The bug allowed coaches to sit as a spectator in certain parts of the map, allowing them to audibly feedback to players. This gave teams an unfair advantage. 37 coaches were involved in the scandal, forcing Valve ban to coaches from the game.
There is already an ongoing large-scale Counter-Strike cheating investigation in Australia, which led to the arrest of six Australians in 2019.
The problem primarily revolves around match betting. Throwing games and cheating allows individuals to make large amounts of money through bets. It’s a practise that happens in America, but up until recently there were no laws surrounding it.
Smith reckon there could be charges brought forward within the next few weeks.
Elsewhere, a rare copy of Super Mario Bros for NES has sold for £477,000 ($660,000 USD) at auction.
The sale, which was held by Heritage Auctions, makes it the highest-priced video game collectible sale ever.