Just a couple of weeks after announcing its recruitment of the former Skyred Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, Australian esports organization 24/7 Esports has cut ties with the group over allegations that its players were involved in match-fixing.
“I am disappointed in the rumored conduct of the players, but for the sake of integrity in Esports, 24/7 Esports does not condone match fixing or even the discussion of it,” Esports 24/7 owner Wei-Ning Yong said in a statement. “Because of this, we have decided to terminate any support towards the team.”
Somewhat surprisingly, the move has seemingly been made without any actual proof of match-fixing, and Yong has said he doesn't actually believe any wrongdoing took place. “But when there is overwhelming public opinion to the opposite there is no choice but to cease all negotiations,” the statement says. “The organization wishes the team good luck in their future endeavors and with their quest to make the majors.”
The decision to halt contract negotiations over unproved allegations may have been driven by the recent permabanning of 21 CS:GO players who were caught up in a match-fixing scandal in early 2015. Valve initially announced that those suspensions were “indefinite” and would be reviewed at the start of 2016, but instead of lifting them it dropped the hammer on all involved with permanent bans. In light of that unequivocal stance, 24/7 Esports may well have decided that distancing itself from even the appearance of impropriety was the only move it had.