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Public Statement on Outcome of Provisional Sanction against Participant Joel “Joel” Holmlund

Public Statement on Outcome of Provisional Sanction against Participant Joel “Joel” Holmlund

In September, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) provisionally suspended Mr. Joel Hulmlund for serious breaches of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code (see our Statement here: Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Joel “Joel” Holmlund – ESIC).

Notably, the provisional suspension of Mr. Holmlund, was related to his behavior while being a professional player for the team Godsent. Namely, that he had engaged in corrupt behavior contravening the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code during his participation in the BetBoom Playlist Urbanistic event, and separately in the IEM Dallas 2023 (Europe Closed Qualifier) involving Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), in the following manner:

  1. Between the period of 27 March 2023 to 28 March 2023, Mr. Holmlund placed bets on matches he was playing in;
  2. On 31 March 2023, Mr. Holmlund placed two bets against his own team in one match; and
  3. Between the period of 29 March 2023 to 1 May 2023, Mr. Holmlund proceeded to place 17 bets on various CS:GO matches.

As part of ESIC’s process in this matter, Mr. Holmlund was given an opportunity to provide further evidence on or before 6 October 2023, and to further cooperate with ESIC’s investigation. While Mr. Holmlund was unable to provide any evidence to the contrary of ESIC’s charges, Mr. Holmlund made significant efforts to cooperate with ESIC’s investigation.

Importantly, as a result of ESIC’s investigation, and with significant consideration of Mr. Holmlund’s cooperation, assistance, genuine contrition and commitment to seeking professional help, ESIC has concluded this investigation by issuing Mr. Holmlund with a Rejection Order spanning the period of 30 August 2023 to 6 January 2024.

This In the interest of transparency and public confidence, we are issuing this statement to inform the public about the considerations taken into account in arriving at the outcome of this matter and to provide examples of the matters and actions ESIC may consider in any future interaction with a participant under investigation or convicted of an offence under the ESIC Codes.

Assistance with Investigations:

ESIC is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and fair play in the esports industry. As part of our commitment, ESIC sometimes offer individuals under investigation, or those already convicted, the opportunity to assist in our broader investigations. This can lead to a reduction in their sanctions or, in certain cases, exemption from prosecution. In the recent investigation involving Mr. Holmlund, he provided ESIC with crucial information pertinent to various ongoing inquiries. His full and candid cooperation was helpful to ESIC’s ongoing investigations. Consequently, we have decided that a reduction in Mr. Holmlund’s suspension is warranted and aligns with the principles of fairness and justice.

ESIC encourages individuals facing investigation or sanction within the esports industry to come forward and collaborate with ESIC. By providing valuable information and aiding in our investigations, they not only contribute to the integrity and transparency of the esports industry but also stand to benefit from potential reductions in their penalties. This approach underscores our commitment to fairness and the importance of cooperative efforts in maintaining the highest ethical standards in esports. We believe that this approach not only aids in effective enforcement but also fosters a culture of responsibility and honesty among participants.

Recognition of Gambling Problems and Consequences

It became apparent early in our interactions with Mr. Holmlund that he fit the gambling industry’s definition of a problem gambler – someone who lacks control over their gambling habits and exhibits signs of addiction. Throughout his initial discussions with ESIC, where Mr. Holmlund was supported by skilled legal counsel, he acknowledged his gambling issues and agreed to pursue professional counseling and treatment. ESIC considers this behavioral issue as a significant factor contributing to Mr. Holmlund’s involvement in betting on CSGO, which was in violation of the ESIC Codes. However, Mr. Holmlund’s commitment to seek help was considered favorably when concluding on the duration of the Rejection Order issued.

Apology and Commitments to the Community

Mr. Holmlund has not only expressed his willingness to apologise to the CS and wider esports community for his actions (as detailed in his statement below and on social media), but he has also agreed to collaborate with ESIC in our participant education program. He will contribute by creating video content that highlights the risks associated with betting on one’s professional game and more broadly addresses the negative aspects of gambling, especially for those who struggle with responsible gambling. ESIC is confident that Mr. Holmlund’s involvement in this initiative will greatly benefit the esports community by enhancing understanding and management of the relationship between esports and betting on these events.

Suggestions of Match-Fixing

It has been alleged that, in addition to the betting offences committed by Mr. Holmlund, he also deliberately underperformed in order to win bets where he had bet against his own team. Upon further investigation and assessment, and in the interest of justice, ESIC wishes to clarify that there is no compelling or conclusive evidence that this is true.

Practical Outcomes

The conclusion of this investigation and the corresponding Rejection Order duration will mean that Mr. Holmlund will have served an effective 7 month ban from ESIC member events, which we believe is proportionate to his original offences when looked at together with the assistance and commitments detailed above. Accordingly, he is free to play in any ESIC member event from 6th January 2024 onwards.

Statement from Mr. Holmlund

Dear Members of the Esports Community,

 I am writing this statement to openly and sincerely apologize for my actions that have affected the CSGO and broader esports community. It is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge my involvement in betting on professional CSGO matches, a clear violation of the ESIC Codes and the trust you placed in me as a member of this community.

 Reflecting on my actions, I realize the gravity of my mistake and the negative impact it has had on the integrity of the sport we all love and cherish. My behavior was not only irresponsible but also undermined the principles of fair play and sportsmanship that are the foundation of competitive gaming.

 I understand that being a professional in the esports industry carries with it a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of conduct. My actions fell short of these standards, and for that, I am truly sorry. I have let down my fans, teammates, and the entire esports community, and for this, I take full responsibility.

 As part of my commitment to rectify my actions, I have agreed to participate in ESIC’s participant education program. Through this, I aim to share my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned, highlighting the dangers of betting on professional games and the broader risks associated with irresponsible gambling. I hope that by sharing my story, I can prevent others from making similar mistakes and contribute positively to the community I care deeply about.

 I am currently seeking professional counseling and treatment for my gambling issues. This journey towards recovery is not just about complying with the sanctions but is a personal commitment to better myself and rebuild the trust I have lost.

 I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and to contribute to the betterment of the esports community. Thank you for your understanding and support during this time.

 Sincerely,

Joel

 ESIC’s Commitment to Integrity

ESIC remains steadfast in our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of integrity in esports. We will continue to conduct investigations and impose sanctions when necessary to protect the integrity of the industry. We also encourage the esports community to actively participate in promoting fair play and integrity in esports. We would strongly encourage participants with knowledge of corrupt acts to come forward and talk to us. We are already discretely working with several players in addition to Joel to either indemnify them from prosecution in return for valuable information or to reduce sanctions in return for information leading to prosecution of bad actors in esports. If you know something, please consider coming forward voluntarily or face harsher sanctions when you are eventually caught.

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Burak “Monkeylay” Can Turunc

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Burak “Monkeylay” Can Turunc

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has concluded its investigation and is taking decisive action against Mr. Burak “Monkeylay” Can Turunc, a professional esports player formerly of the team “NoChance”, for multiple breaches of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code.

After thorough investigations, Mr. Turunc was served with a Formal Notice of Charge for violations of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code during the Intel ESL Turkiye CS:GO Sampiyonasi – Sezon XII – Playoffs. The allegations pertain to corrupt practices, including betting against his own team, “NoChance,” and breaching the ESIC Code of Conduct.

Overview of the Case

Mr. Turunc is alleged to have engaged in activities that contravene the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code during the Intel ESL Turkiye CS:GO Sampiyonasi – Sezon XII – Playoffs, specifically:

  • Betting against his own team during the competition,
  • Engaging in practices that influence the outcome of matches for betting purposes.

Investigation and Charges

The investigation included examining betting records, account registrations, digital footprints, and betting patterns. The ESIC thanks its Anti-Corruption Supporter member betting operators for providing evidence that was crucial in establishing the charges against Mr. Turunc.

Mr. Turunc is charged with a breach of the following articles of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code:

2 .1 Corruption:

2.1.1 Fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any agreement or effort to fix or contrive in any way or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match, including (without limitation) by deliberately underperforming therein.

 2.1.2 Ensuring for Betting or other corrupt purposes the occurrence of a particular incident in a Match or Event.

 2.1.3 Seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept any bribe or other Reward to: (a) fix or to contrive in any way or otherwise to influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match; or (b) ensure for Betting or other corrupt purposes the occurrence of a particular incident in a Match.

2.2 Betting:

2.2.1 Betting on any CS:GO Match, especially those in which you participate as a player.

2.2.2 Facilitating, aiding, abetting, or otherwise assisting any party in committing acts described in 2.2.1.

2.3.1 Failing to disclose to the ESIC a full and true disclosure of all the facts and circumstances with respect to acts described in 2.1 and 2.2.

Further offences under the ESIC Code of Conduct articles as follows;

 2.4.5 Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the above offences, conduct that brings Esport, the Game, Event, ESIC or a Member into disrepute.

Despite the presentation of substantial evidence and the provision of a plea bargain that would result in a minimum two-year exclusion from all ESIC member events, Mr. Turunc has not engaged with ESIC’s disciplinary process. He has neither responded to the Notice of Charge nor the offered plea bargain.

Sanction Duration

Consequently, in adherence to ESIC’s regulatory framework and the gravity of the charges, the Commission is left with no alternative but to proceed with the imposition of the sanctions as per the Anti-Corruption Code. The imposed sanction will be a ban of two years from the date of the initial Notice of Charge, extending until midnight on 6th September 2025. During this period, Mr. Turunc is barred from participating in any capacity within ESIC member events.

AESF Welcomes IOC Plans to Create Olympic Esports Games

AESF Welcomes IOC Plans to Create Olympic Esports Games

AESF welcomes the announcement made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Mr. Thomas Bach, on the creation of Olympic Esports Games during his opening speech at the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, India.

In his address, Mr. Bach stated, “There are 3 billion people playing Esports and gaming around the world. It is estimated that over 500 million of them are specifically interested in Esports, which includes virtual sports and sports simulations. What is more relevant to us is that the majority of them are under the age of 34.” Mr. Bach mentioned that the IOC has taken the strategic decision to engage with Esports in a holistic way and has chosen an approach to be active in the Esports space while staying true to Olympic values. 

The Olympic movement is embracing Esports in recent years, and the Asian Esports industry is leading the way. The major Asian multi-sports events, including the Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games, have included Esports as an official medal sport.

AESF actively promotes the further integration of Esports into the Olympics. At the AESF's 3rd Executive Board Meeting, AESF President Mr. Kenneth Fok, mentioned that AESF's mission is not solely focused on organizing Esports events but also on bringing the Esports community closer to the Olympic community and National Olympic Committees.

AESF has collaborated with publishers on the adaptation of popular mobile shooting game, such as PUBG Mobile, which was renamed as 'Peace Elite Asian Games Version,' as well as MOBA game, such as Arena of Valor, which was renamed as 'Arena of Valor Asian Games Version,' during the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou. Both of the adaptations have been made to comply with Olympic values, and the changes provide a good stage for athletes from various countries and regions to compete while also presenting the core values of sports, such as equality, respect, and fairness.

AESF has established the Publisher Commission for the first time, and we will continue to collaborate with publishers to further cooperate and deliberate on game adaptations that fully conform to Olympic values and the Olympic movement. AESF looks forward to cooperating with the Aichi-Nagoya Asian Games Committee (AINAGOC) for the upcoming 20th Asian Games in Aichi-Nagoya, as Esports has been designated as one of the official medal sports.

Public Statement on Assessment of Out-of-Time Appeal by Allan “Rejin” Petersen

Public Statement on Assessment of Out-of-Time Appeal by Allan “Rejin” Petersen

Introduction

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) remains resolute in its mission to maintain fairness, integrity, and transparency within the esports industry. In alignment with our commitment, we have meticulously reviewed an out-of-time appeal submitted by Allan “Rejin” Petersen in May 2023, concerning a sanction originally imposed in 2020. The substance of the appeal was related to the post-facto Valve RMR sanction imposed by Valve independently and in response to ESIC’s original sanction. Importantly, the result of ESIC’s review does not modify the ESIC-imposed sanction but significantly affects the post-facto Valve RMR sanction.

Overview of the Appeal

Mr. Petersen was initially assigned 8 demerit points as a result of ESIC’s investigation into his involvement and incorrect response to the CSGO coach bug. This decision was reached after a comprehensive investigation, and the demerit points assigned to Mr. Petersen were subsequently and independently recognized by Valve and translated into a secondary Valve RMR sanction banning Mr. Petersen from Valve Majors for life.

While the original sanction by ESIC remains unaltered our adherence to the principles of natural justice and equitable treatment prompted the acceptance of the appeal, even though it was submitted almost three years after the initial sanction was imposed. The ESIC Independent Appeal Panel and the ESIC Commissioner have conducted an exhaustive review of the case, considering new evidence presented by Mr. Petersen.

Mr. Petersen has successfully substantiated that the extent of the bug exploitation was not as initially calculated. Acknowledging this new evidence and in pursuit of equity and fairness, the demerit points assigned to Mr. Petersen have been recalculated and reduced from 8 to 5.

Implications of Appeal Result

It is important to note that this recalibration does not modify the ESIC-imposed sanction (meaning ESIC in this statement is not modifying its initial sanction) but significantly affects the post-facto Valve RMR sanction. The revised demerit points alleviate the lifetime ban from Valve Majors, imposing a restriction from 5 Majors instead. Following this period, Mr. Petersen will regain eligibility to coach in subsequent Majors.

Importantly, ESIC has communicated the result of the appeal to Valve and has received notice that the result of the appeal has been accepted by Valve.

Acknowledgements

ESIC extends its appreciation to Valve for facilitating open and collaborative communications on this matter and for reviewing and accepting the appeal.

ESIC also acknowledges Mr. Petersen for his cooperation and transparency throughout the investigation process. His prompt admission and invaluable contribution, notably being one of the first coaches to disclose the existence of the bug, were instrumental in facilitating our inquiry.

ESIC is unwavering in its commitment to safeguarding the core values of the esports industry and will continue to implement rigorous measures to ensure fairness and integrity. Our resolve to uphold the highest standards of integrity within the esports industry remains steadfast.

IOC commissions for 2023: gender equality reaffirmed and new IOC Esports Commission announced

IOC commissions for 2023: gender equality reaffirmed and new IOC Esports Commission announced

The potential to engage new audiences

Marking the latest step in supporting the development of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement, the establishment of the Esports Commission, chaired by IOC Member David Lappartient, who led the IOC Esports Liaison Group until the creation of the new Commission, underlines the IOC’s recognition of the tremendous potential that esports have to engage new audiences and provide new opportunities for athletes and fans alike.

Virtual and simulated sports have become an increasingly important part of the sporting landscape in recent years. The IOC has already been exploring this potential through initiatives such as the Olympic Esports Week, which was held for the first time in Singapore from 23 to 25 June, and the Olympic Esports Series, which invited both professional and amateur players from across the world to compete in virtual sports competitions.

The IOC believes that virtual sports have the potential to complement and enhance the traditional Olympic sports, and that they can provide new opportunities for athletes and fans to participate in the Olympic Movement,” said President Bach. “We believe that virtual sports can help to promote the values of excellence, friendship and respect that are at the heart of the Olympic Games, and that they can inspire young people around the world to get involved in sports and to lead active and healthy lifestyles.”

Gender equality across IOC commissions

The IOC commissions play a vital role in the organisation’s work, focusing on specific subject areas and making recommendations to the IOC President, the Executive Board and the IOC Session. The composition of each commission includes IOC Members and a range of external experts.

President Bach once again maintained gender equality across the commission positions for 2023, highlighting the organisation’s efforts to foster gender equality and inclusion throughout the sports movement. The IOC continues to lead by example in regard to corporate citizenship, which was one of the key recommendations of its strategic roadmap, Olympic Agenda 2020+5.

Of the 583 positions on the IOC commissions, 287 are occupied by men and 296 by women. This represents a substantial increase in female representation since 2013, when only 20 per cent of commission positions were held by women.

Chairs ensure consistent approach

Almost all of the already existing IOC commissions will retain the same chairperson as last year, ensuring a consistent approach in fulfilling their mandates. 14 chairs of the 33 commissions are female, which makes it 42.42 per cent.

The only recent changes were the appointments of IOC Member Karl Stoss as Chair of the Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games and of IOC Executive Board member Kristin Kloster as the Chair of the Coordination Commission for the XXV Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026, both replacing members who resigned from their position.

The President also appointed two additional independent members to the IOC Advisory Committee on Human Rights, to reinforce the expertise of the body in the field of business and human rights – namely Ms Rebeca Grynspan Mayufis and Ms Alexandra Guáqueta.

Ms Grynspan Mayufis is a Costa Rican economist who has been serving as Secretary General (SG) of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) since 13 September 2021. Before that, she held various official positions in the UN system and in her country – including as Vice-President and Coordinating Minister of Social Affairs of Costa Rica (1994-1998).

Ms Guáqueta is a Colombian national who currently leads the global social impact and human rights function at a multinational consultancy firm that focuses on sustainability. Prior to her current role, Ms Guaqueta held various positions related to social standards – including as a member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (2011-2015).

The next IOC Commissions Week, which sees all the IOC commissions meet to discuss their specific subject areas, will be held remotely in November.

Sportsflare joins ESIC as an Anti-Corruption Supporter

ESIC Logo

Sportsflare is the latest company to join ESIC in its fight against betting fraud and corruption in esports, joining over 40 Anti-Corruption Supporters around the world. Being an Anti-Corruption Supporter, Sportsflare will assist ESIC in investigating suspicious betting activity across their betting platform, endorsing ESIC’s greater effort against match-fixing and betting fraud within esports.

LawInSport Weekly News Recap - 24 September

LIS News Roundup

Welcome to LawInSport’s weekly News Roundup.  This recap highlights this week’s news pieces from across the world of sport. For further updates, please visit our news section.

We hope you find this useful. If you have any related questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Alexey Shyshko

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Alexey Shyshko

Introduction to ESIC Public Statement on Lifetime Ban of Alexey Shyshko: 

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) today announces a critical action in our ongoing efforts to safeguard the integrity of esports. Following a comprehensive investigation, ESIC has imposed a lifetime ban on Mr. Alexey Shyshko, proprietor of numerous professional esports teams, including Akuma, Majesty and Project X, for severe violations of the ESIC Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Code over a considerable period of time. This ban, effective from October 24, 2023, is in response to Mr. Shyshko’s involvement in orchestrating match-fixing activities and facilitating cheating within various esports competitions. 

As proprietor, Mr. Shyshko misused his influential position to undermine the principles of fair competition and integrity that form the cornerstone of esports. This included manipulating match outcomes for financial gain and providing unfair advantages to his teams in competitive play, encouraging and facilitating various players to cheat and match-fix for his financial gain. Such actions not only compromised the integrity of individual matches but also tarnished the reputation of esports as a whole. 

This decision, a first of its kind in terms of its severity, underscores ESIC’s commitment to enforcing strict adherence to its codes and ensuring a level playing field for all participants. The lifetime ban of Mr. Shyshko, accompanied by additional sanctions on associated teams and individuals, serves as a stark reminder that any form of corruption or unethical behavior within the esports arena will be met with the most serious consequences. 

ESIC’s primary mission remains the preservation of the integrity and fair competition in esports. This case, while regrettable, highlights our unwavering dedication to this mission and our readiness to take decisive action to protect the sport’s integrity and the interests of all fair competitors and fans globally. 

Overview of the Case 

ESIC’s inquiry was propelled by information received through confidential sources, betting evidence provided by our Anti-Corruption Supporters and match analysis provided by experts seconded to us by ESIC member tournament organisers, necessitating a detailed and meticulous examination of the activities surrounding Mr. Shyshko, his multiple teams and large roster of associated players. 

Our investigation unveiled substantial evidence that Mr. Shyshko engaged in activities that flagrantly and consistently violated the principles of fair play and integrity central to the ethos of esports. These activities primarily involved instances of match-fixing and facilitating cheating, which are antithetical to the competitive spirit of esports. 

In one egregious incident, Mr. Shyshko was implicated in facilitating a match-fixing agreement during a Bulgarian LAN event, involving Team Majesty, which he owned and controlled. This plan, executed between August 20, 2020, and December 2, 2020, involved the deliberate manipulation of match outcomes with the promise of financial gain for the participating players. In another disturbing instance, during the “Time of Bet Cup” event, Mr. Shyshko provided Team Majesty with an unfair advantage by enabling unauthorized communication methods, significantly compromising the integrity of the competition. 

The findings made by ESIC during its investigations into Mr. Shyshko’s behaviours paint a clear picture of Mr. Shyshko’s involvement in corrupt practices that directly contravened the ESIC Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Code, reflecting a calculated disregard for the fundamental principles of esports integrity. 

The severity of Mr. Alexey Shyshko’s actions cannot be understated. His involvement in orchestrating match-fixing and facilitating cheating not only breached the trust of players, teams, and fans but also threatened the very foundation of fair competition in esports. These actions, uncovered during our thorough investigation, clearly violated specific sections of the ESIC Code. 

The investigation revealed that Mr. Shyshko’s conduct breached Section 2.1 of the ESIC Code of Conduct, which mandates that esports participants must not engage in any form of cheating, match-fixing, or any other activities that undermine the integrity of esports. Additionally, his actions contravened Section 3.1 of the Anti-Corruption Code, which prohibits participants from engaging in betting, gambling, or similar activities that could lead to conflicts of interest. Furthermore, the violations also fell under the purview of Section 6.1 of the ESIC Disciplinary Procedure, which stipulates that participants found guilty of engaging in cheating or match-fixing are subject to a range of sanctions, including fines, suspensions, or disqualification from competition. 

This background forms the basis of the sanctions imposed on Mr. Shyshko, reflecting ESIC’s unwavering commitment to uphold the highest standards of integrity within the esports industry. 

ESIC’s Actions and Sanctions: 

In response to the grave violations committed by Mr. Alexey Shyshko, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has taken decisive and stringent actions to uphold the integrity of esports and enforce its Integrity Program. The following summarizes the key actions and sanctions imposed: 

Issuance of a Rejection Order Against Alexey Shyshko: 

ESIC has issued a Rejection Order against Mr. Shyshko, effective from October 24, 2023, culminating in a lifetime ban from all ESIC member events. This unprecedented sanction reflects the seriousness of Mr. Shyshko’s offenses and serves as a strong deterrent to others who might contemplate similar violations. 

The Rejection Order encompasses a comprehensive participation restriction, prohibiting Mr. Shyshko from participating in any capacity—whether as owner, agent, or manager—in any ESIC member events. Additionally, any team or player in which Mr. Shyshko has an interest or involvement is also barred from participating in ESIC member events. 

Mr. Shyshko was served with the Rejection Order and given an opportunity to respond. It is noted that Mr.Shysko did not contest ESIC’s charge and expressed an acceptance of the charges and the sanction applied by ESIC. 

Sanctions on Teams and Individuals Associated with Shyshko: 

Earlier this week, ESIC handed down additional sanctions for participants associated with the teams implicated in Mr. Shyshko’s behaviour. This action reinforces the principle that entities linked to corrupt practices will face serious repercussions. Further investigations and potential prosecutions remain in progress. 

Protection and Immunity for Cooperating Individuals: 

In recognition of the valuable assistance provided by several individuals during the investigation, ESIC has granted immunity to those who cooperated in bringing this outcome to pass. This decision underscores ESIC’s commitment to encouraging reporting of unethical behavior while ensuring the safety and anonymity of informants. 

Through these actions, ESIC affirms its steadfast dedication to maintaining the integrity of esports. These sanctions are a clear message that violations of the ESIC Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Code will be met with the utmost seriousness and result in significant consequences. This stance is vital in preserving the spirit of fair competition and the trust of players, teams, and fans in the esports ecosystem. 

Conclusion and ESIC’s Comments 

In conclusion, the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) reaffirms its unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity within the esports industry. The rigorous investigation and subsequent sanctions imposed on Mr. Alexey Shyshko and associated individuals reflect our resolve to confront unethical behavior head-on and protect the essence of fair competition. 

ESIC remains vigilant and proactive in identifying and addressing threats to the integrity of esports. We continue to refine our monitoring and investigative processes, working collaboratively with teams, players, and event organizers to foster an environment where fair play is paramount. 

We encourage all stakeholders within the esports industry – players, teams, organizers, and fans – to join us in this important endeavor. By working together, we can create a landscape that not only values competitive excellence but also champions ethical conduct and respect for the rules. 

ESIC is committed to maintaining transparent and open lines of communication with all members of the esports community. We welcome feedback, collaboration, and information that can aid in our mission to maintain a clean and reputable competitive environment. 

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participants Dmytro “SENSEi” Shvorak, Maksym “THRONE” Semenov, Artur “DarkS1DE” Kravchenko, and Danylo “nat1ve” Bakin

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participants Dmytro “SENSEi” Shvorak, Maksym “THRONE” Semenov, Artur “DarkS1DE” Kravchenko, and Danylo “nat1ve” Bakin

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has taken decisive action to suspend Mr. Dmytro “SENSEi” Shvorak, Mr. Maksym “THRONE” Semenov, Mr. Artur “DarkS1DE” Kravchenko, and Mr. Danylo “nat1ve” Bakin, professional esports players, from all ESIC Member events for two years following investigations into teams Akuma, Project X and Majesty corroborating allegations of multiple breaches of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code and significant evidence of suspicious and unusual betting on matches involving these players.

Overview of the Case

The investigations into these individuals were prompted by betting evidence and confidential information confirming their involvement in match-fixing activities. These activities, contravening the ESIC Code of Conduct and Anti-Corruption Code, include:

  1. Dmytro “SENSEi” Shvorak’s attempted engagement in match-fixing activities during several LAN events with Team Project X.
  2. Maksym “THRONE” Semenov’s participation in match-fixing activities during a Bulgarian LAN event with Team Majesty between August and December 2020.
  3. Artur “DarkS1DE” Kravchenko’s involvement in similar activities during a Bulgarian LAN event with Team Majesty.
  4. Danylo “nat1ve” Bakin’s participation in match-fixing activities during the same Bulgarian LAN event with Team Majesty.

Collectively referred to as Sanctioned Participants”.

Investigation and Charges

ESIC’s comprehensive investigation included examination of betting evidence from our Anti-Corruption Supporters, match analysis, witness corroboration and betting pattern analysis. Based on the findings, each individual was charged with breaches of the ESIC’s Anti-Corruption Code, particularly in relation to corruption and betting activities.

After collating and reviewing the evidence in light of the allegations, the Sanctioned Participants were charged with a breach of ESIC’s Anti-Corruption Code, particularly:

2.1 Corruption:

2.1.1 Fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any effort to fix or contrive in any way or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct, or any other aspect of any Match.

 Section 3.1 (Anti-Corruption Code)

 No participant shall engage in any form of betting, gambling, or similar activity that has the potential to create a conflict of interest.

 And further offences under the ESIC Code of Conduct articles as follows;

2.4.5 Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the above offences, conduct that brings Esport, the Game, Event, ESIC or a Member into disrepute.

The Sanctioned Participants were each served with a Notice of Charge on 24 October 2023 and given an opportunity to respond. The Sanctioned Participants did not respond to the Notice of Charge.

Sanction Duration

In accordance with the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code, ESIC hereby issues a Rejection Order against each individual, effective from 24 October 2023 to 24 October 2025. During this period, they are prohibited from participating in any ESIC member events and must comply with all relevant provisions of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code.

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Swabry “MAJOR” Iddi

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Swabry “MAJOR” Iddi

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has concluded its thorough investigation and is taking decisive action against the professional esports player known as Mr. Iddi for breaches of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code during a FIFA match against LEFTY on 8 May 2023.

After a comprehensive investigation, Mr. Iddi was served with a Formal Notice of Charge for violations of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code, specifically related to corrupt activities during his participation in an ESIC member’s FIFA match. The allegations are serious and include engaging in behavior that contravenes the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code.

Overview of the Case

Mr. Iddi is alleged to have engaged in activities that contravene the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Fixing or influencing improperly the result, progress, conduct, or any other aspect of a match.
  • Ensuring for Betting or other corrupt purposes the occurrence of a particular incident in a match.

Investigation and Charges

The investigation process included an examination of betting records, account registrations, digital footprints, and betting patterns. ESIC extends its gratitude to its Anti-Corruption Supporter member betting operators for providing crucial evidence that contributed significantly to establishing the charges against Mr. Iddi.

Mr. Iddi is charged with breaching the following articles of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code:

2 .1 Corruption:

2.1.1 Fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any agreement or effort to fix or contrive in any way or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match, including (without limitation) by deliberately underperforming therein.

 2.1.2 Ensuring for Betting or other corrupt purposes the occurrence of a particular incident in a Match or Event.

 2.1.3 Seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept any bribe or other Reward to: (a) fix or to contrive in any way or otherwise to influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match; or (b) ensure for Betting or other corrupt purposes the occurrence of a particular incident in a Match.

Further offences under the ESIC Code of Conduct articles as follows;

 2.4.5 Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the above offences, conduct that brings Esport, the Game, Event, ESIC or a Member into disrepute.

Given the evidence presented and the opportunity for a plea bargain that would result in a reduced sanction, MR. IDDI has not yet engaged with the ESIC disciplinary process. Consequently, in adherence to ESIC’s regulatory framework and considering the severity of the charges, the Commission has no alternative but to proceed with the imposition of the sanctions as outlined in the Anti-Corruption Code.

Sanction Duration

The imposed sanction will be a ban of two years from the date of the initial Notice of Charge, ending at midnight on 14 June 2025. During this time, MR. IDDI is prohibited from participating in any capacity within ESIC member events.

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Flynn “Deluxe” Smith

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Flynn “Deluxe” Smith

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and fair play within the esports industry. In the interest of transparency and public confidence, we are issuing this statement to inform the public about a recent disciplinary action taken against a participant in an esports event.

Overview of the Case

During the a match played on 24th February, esports participant Flynn “Deluxe” Smith was alleged to have engaged in corrupt behavior, which contravened the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code. As part of our commitment to ensuring integrity in esports, ESIC initiated an investigation into the matter. Due to intervening factors, ESIC could not make a public statement on the matter until this point in time.

Investigation and Charges

Our comprehensive investigation into the matter involved examining match footage, reviewing betting patterns, and conducting interviews with relevant parties. While we must maintain confidentiality to protect the integrity of the investigation, we can share that the evidence collected pointed to Mr. Smith’s involvement in activities that contravened articles 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code. These activities include improper influence on match outcomes and involvement in corrupt betting practices. The gathered information was subsequently presented to Mr. Smith in a Notice of Charge.

Resolution and Sanction

After reviewing the charges and evidence, Flynn “Deluxe” Smith accepted the charges and agreed to a plea bargain arrangement. Consequently, he is subject to a two-year ban from participating in any capacity in events organized by ESIC Members. The ban is effective from 4th April 2023 until midnight 3rd April 2025.

ESIC’s Commitment to Integrity

ESIC remains steadfast in our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of integrity in esports. We will continue to conduct investigations and impose sanctions when necessary to protect the integrity of the industry. We also encourage the esports community to actively participate in promoting fair play and integrity in esports.

Conclusion

We appreciate the esports industry’s support in maintaining the integrity of the industry and fostering a fair, competitive environment for all participants. If you have any inquiries or concerns related to this statement, please feel free to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Joel “Joel” Holmlund

Public Statement on Disciplinary Action Against Participant Joel “Joel” Holmlund

Introduction

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has taken decisive action to provisionally suspend Mr. Joel “Joel” Holmlund, a professional esports player, formerly of team Godsent, from all ESIC Member events in light of evidence available corroborating allegations of his multiple breaches of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code.

Overview of the Case

It is alleged that Mr. Joel Holmlund, while being a professional player for the team Godsent, engaged in corrupt behavior contravening the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code during his participation in the BetBoom Playlist Urbanistic event, and separately in the IEM Dallas 2023 (Europe Closed Qualifier) involving Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), for the following infringements:

  1. Between the period of 27 March 2023 to 28 March 2023, Mr. Holmlund placed bets on matches he was playing in;
  2. On 31 March 2023, Mr. Holmlund placed two bets against his own team in one match; and
  3. Between the period of 29 March 2023 to 1 May 2023, Mr. Holmlund proceeded to place 17 bets on various CS:GO matches.

Although the tournament related to item 1 was not an ESIC member event tournament, the ESIC Codes allow ESIC to issue a Rejection Order pursuant to item 2.A.2 of the Anti-Corruption Code. The tournament related to item 2 was an ESIC member event, and the ESIC Codes give ESIC jurisdiction. This sanction will be issued to all ESIC members and may be adopted by other third parties at their discretion.

Investigation and Charges

Our comprehensive investigation into the matter involved examining:

  1. Records of individual bets placed during specific events.
  2. Multiple account registrations and their associated details.
  3. Digital footprints, including IP addresses, device IDs, and browser information.
  4. Linkages between the betting accounts and various social media platforms.
  5. Betting patterns in relation to specific esports matches and in-game performance.
  6. Records of bets placed on various esports matches.
  7. Patterns of betting behavior in relation to professional participation.

ESIC is grateful for the cooperation of our Anti-Corruption Supporter member betting operators for providing this evidence.

After collating and reviewing the evidence in light of the allegations, Mr. Holmlund was charged with a breach of ESIC’s Anti-Corruption Code, particularly:

2.1 Corruption:

2.1.1 Fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any effort to fix or contrive in any way or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct, or any other aspect of any Match.

 2.2 Betting:

2.2.1 Betting on any CS:GO Match, including matches that you were a professional participant in  as detailed in the infringements above.

2.2.2 Facilitating, aiding, abetting or otherwise assisting any party in committing acts described in 2.2.1.

2.2.3 Failing to disclose to the ESIC a full and true disclosure of all the facts and circumstances with respect to acts described in 2.1 and 2.2.

And further offences under the ESIC Code of Conduct articles as follows;

2.4.5 Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the above offences, conduct that brings Esport, the Game, Event, ESIC or a Member into disrepute.

Mr. Holmlund was served with a Notice of Charge on 30 August 2023 and given an opportunity to respond. After denying the charges in reply, ESIC gathered additional evidence to assess the veracity of his denials.

Considering the gravity of the allegations, Mr. Holmlund’s current active participation in an ESIC-affiliated event, and being satisfied with the compelling evidence presented in its further investigation, ESIC has elected to suspend Mr. Holmlund via a Rejection Order Notice. While the suspension stands, ESIC remains open to reevaluation should Mr. Holmlund present new evidence by 6 October 2023.

Sanction Duration

At the time of publication, as the Rejection Order Notice has not been finalised, ESIC will reserve the disclosure of the duration of the ban on participation in ESIC member events to be imposed. ESIC will make a further statement on or after 6 October 2023 to confirm the final outcome of the investigation.

The ESIC Open Matters Register, found on the ESIC website, will facilitate any further public updates about this matter as published by ESIC from time to time, and at its discretion.

Esports Officially Recognized As A Sport In India

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In a major win for the Esports community in India, the Indian government has officially recognised Esports as one of the sports.
 
Esports will now fall under the purview of India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports while the broader gaming industry will be governed by India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The change clearly establishes Esports as a sport from the generally perceived category of gaming.
 
Esports’ inclusion in the multi-sports category by the Indian government also means that the recognised Esports tournaments might attain the same status as other offline sporting events in the country, like national-level tournaments.
 
Congratulating the Indian Esports community, Mr. Kenneth Fok, President of the AESF said, “Today is a great day for Esports enthusiasts - fans and athletes alike. The AESF is thrilled to wish a heartiest congratulations to the Indian Esports family. This is no mean feat which redefines the sport and allows a broader range of athletes to see themselves represented on a global stage.” 
 
“Under the exceptional leadership and support by the President of India, Hon’ble Smt. Droupadi Murmu ji and Prime Minister of India, Hon'ble Modi ji, I am sure this is just the beginning, and we would also like to convey our utmost excitement for the Indian Esports scene moving forward,” he added.
 
Reacting to the news, Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) said, "Great news for us to begin the New Year. We have been constantly working on establishing the difference between Esports and Gaming, and finally, our efforts have been fulfilled. We welcome this announcement by our government under the leadership of Hon'ble PM Modi ji, which will open new avenues to pour in more investment opportunities in this booming industry. From now onwards, we will have to build the proper infrastructure, training facilities and coaching for our young Esports athletes. Only a short time until we see Esports being placed in the same league as cricket, football, basketball, etc. and having similar fan power, scale and craze.”
 
Esports competed at the 2018 Asian Games as a demonstration sport, where Indian HearthStone athlete, Tirth Mihta, bagged a bronze medal. Esports will debut as an official medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou. 

Venezuelan Federation of Electronic Esports - IESF's Member Nation

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To succeed in our mission to create a united World Esport we need really big support and the biggest support we get is from our 111 Member nations, national federations from all around the world!

It’s really important to show you who are our Member Nations!

Today we are presenting the Venezuelan Federation of Electronic Esports.

Macedonian Esports Federation - IESF's Member Nation

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To succeed in our mission to create a united World Esport we need really big support and the biggest support we get is from our 109 Member nations, national federations from all around the world!

It’s really important to show you who are our Member Nations!

Today we are presenting the Macedonian Esports Federation!

Russian Esports Federation - IESF's member nation

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To succeed in our mission to create a united World Esports we need really big support and the biggest support we get is from our 109 Member nations, national federations from all around the world.

It’s really important to show you who are our Member Nations!

Starting with the Russian Esports Federation, one of the oldest esports federations in the world!

Promod Esports becomes an ESIC Member

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ESIC is delighted to welcome Promod Esports into membership, supporting ESIC’s mission towards a uniform standard for integrity in esports. As part of its membership, Promod Esports will integrate ESIC’s integrity codes and standards into its esports operations, encouraging fair play and sporting integrity across their platforms. Joining a long list of industry leaders in membership, Promod Esports reinforces their operational commitment to competitive integrity, youth protection, and commercial viability of the international esports industry.

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