In the wake of the suspension of 26 professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players who were involved in match fixing, Valve has issued another statement that not only warns against such behavior, but explains why any kind of betting on matches is bad for everyone.
The statement opens with the same warning that accompanied the lengthy bans of pro CS:GO players in January and February: That players, teams, and anyone involved with professional events should never bet on matches or associate with those who do. But then it moves beyond that to explain that it's not just impropriety that's the problem, but also the mere appearance of impropriety.
"As a professional player, team manager or event production staff, it is common to have personal relationships and/or privileged information about other teams and players. Because of this, we 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," Valve wrote.
"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," it continued. "To avoid these risks, we recommend that you never bet on any CS:GO game or match. This recommendation applies both to current professional players and anyone who wishes to participate in a Valve-sponsored CS:GO event in the future."
Valve said it's important for players to consider the impact they can have on the "health and stability" of the CS:GO sport. E-sports are tremendously popular but it's still a relatively nascent business, and if the perception of widespread corruption takes hold, it could seriously impinge upon its future growth. "Performing before an audience of millions of fans, you are ambassadors for your game," it wrote. "The strength of professional Counter-Strike comes from the integrity of its players and teams."