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Valve suspends 19 more CS:GO players for match fixing

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[Update: Valve and ESL have lifted the ban on the former ESC Gaming team, and reinstated its invitation to the Katowice 2015 offline qualifier. "The ex-ESC players were restricted from participating in Valve-sponsored events because their historical account activity matched allegations of misconduct," Valve said in a statement. "However, further investigation has clarified their role in the matter, and the restriction has been lifted."]

Original story:

Valve's ongoing investigation into pro-level Counter-Strike: Global Offensive match fixing has resulted in the suspension of another 19 players from its sponsored events. The ban means that three teams—Epsilon eSports, the former ESC Gaming, and WinneR—will not be eligible to compete in the offline qualifier for the upcoming ESL One Katowice 2015.

ESL One has scheduled a "last-chance tournament" for February 8 to determine the teams that will replace Epsilon eSports and ESC Gaming, while LGB eSports and 3DMAX will take WinneR's position. The league noted that those two teams had been slated to play a third-place match in the second European qualifier, but that will no longer be necessary as both teams will now advance.

14 of the players determined to be involved in match fixing have been given indefinite suspensions that won't be reviewed prior to 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

Another five have been declared ineligible for ESL One Katowice while the investigation continues:

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

Valve again said that professional CS:GO players and teams "should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches" or associate with those who do, a position echoed by the ESL. "At ESL, we want to underline the fact that unsportsmanlike behavior, such as match fixing, will not be tolerated, and therefore the banned players will not be allowed to take part in any ESL CS:GO tournaments until these cases are reviewed by Valve," it said in a statement.

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament at ESL One Katowice 2015 runs from March 12-15, and features a $250,000 prize pool.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.