Following a rough year of match fixing and coach exploits in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, an Australian player has opened up about the thousands of dollars he's been offered to throw competitive games.
That comes through an episode of ABC's Background Briefing podcast, diving into the troubling rise of esports match fixing. Speaking to the Esports Integrity Commission, pro players and Victoria police, the show is a good half-hour dig into how susceptible the scene has been to exploitation in recent years.
Notably, the show also includes a snippet from Rooster 2 player Joshua “JHD” Hough-Devine, one of several players banned from competitive CS:GO for betting on pro games. JHD noted that he'd been given several opportunities to go a step further, with parties offering serious sums of money to get him to fix matches.
"I’ve been offered like $2,000 a match to throw, but I just don’t take it because it’s just not what I’m about."
Here's the thing—the Australian esports scene isn't massive. And while Rooster found a good deal of success on the local stage, they weren't yet a big name internationally. That someone is offering a couple grand to fix games at this level suggests even larger sums being bandied about.
The ESIC suggests likewise, telling ABC that it receives "around 100 match fixing, cheating and other corruption allegations" each day. With the move to online-only events under the Covid-19 pandemic, the problem has only become more pronounced.
“We’ve seen a very significant upturn in all sorts of match fixing activity, betting, fraud-related activity in esports, across all titles," ESIC global strategy director Stephen Hanna notes.
Match fixing isn't the only problem the competitive CS:GO scene has faced this year. Earlier in 2020, 37 team coaches were banned for exploiting a bug that let them spy on enemy teams using the in-game spectate feature.
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20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.