In January and February of 2015, Valve handed down “indefinite” bans to a number of players found taking part in matchfixing in professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site]. Now an update on the game’s blog says that those bans are permanent.
“Our decision was to ban these players indefinitely from involvement in Valve-sponsored events. To clarify, the bans for these players are permanent, and players proven to have taken part in match-fixing will be permanently banned,” explains the post. “As the scene grows, it’s an unfortunate reality that some individuals will seek opportunities to take advantage of their fans. We will continue to take whatever action we think is necessary to protect the entertainment value created by professional Counter-Strike, including, on occasion, terminating our relationship with individuals who have demonstrated a willingness to exploit their fans’ faith in the integrity of the sport.”
The bans technically only apply to Valve-sponsored events, and although there are many CS:GO esports tournaments which aren’t, the ESL and ESEA both said they would ban the same players from their own events.
The original bans were handed down to seven people, after Valve investigated accounts of players involved in a match between iBUYPOWER and NetcodeGuides and found that a number of “high valued items” had been won and distributed between them. If it seems strange that the matchfixing in question was about winning Counter-Strike items, keep in mind that the bets placed were valued at around $10,000 and players received an estimated $7,000-worth of skins for their part in fixing the match.
Zero tolerance for this kind of thing seems the only way to go, so it’s no surprise that the bans won’t be lifted anytime soon.