Sources have informed Dexerto that Riot Games has conducted a series of interviews among Valorant players about allegations of match-fixing, including those suspected of engaging in such activity in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
This survey is completely independent of the one conducted by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC), and it is not clear how much, if any, there is an overlap between the two.
A source, who was contacted as part of the investigation, explained that it had begun after a public conversation about suspected match-fixing activity in the North American Mountain Dew League (MDL), which is run by MTG-owned league ESEA. The case has been at the heart of a month-long ESIC investigation that many had expected to be published by now.
Several of the players suspected in this investigation had made the transition to Valorant to pursue opportunities in Rio̵
During this time, several organizations had expressed concern about committing to offer players contracts, as it was not clear what the outcome of the investigation would be, nor what Riot would react to exclusions in a completely different esports.
Such an example of this happened in September last year.
Dignitas did not commit to signing Ryan ‘Shanks’ Ngo, despite his fantastic performances, amid rumors that he was one of the players being investigated. Kevin ‘ready’ Ngo was also released. Both had played together on CSGO teams in MDL who were repeatedly accused of match-fixing.
Following DIG’s decision, several high-profile Valorant players tweeted their thoughts.
– IMT Genghsta (@genghsta) September 22, 2020
How can people look at my story and think it’s a good idea to throw a fight? Please do not ruin your future / career for temporary personal gain.
– Brax (@ brax1wnl) September 22, 2020
This. Seeing what has happened to people who have thrown matches, and who still decide to do so, removes any sympathy that may have felt justified (over age or something imo). Instead of ‘doing it’, they take an immoral shortcut to get paid. Learn from the past. Be better. https://t.co/FF8TIrphVc
– C9 R blanding (@R blandOG) September 22, 2020
It is still not clear whether the accusations of these people have any substance or not.
“Currently, there is a team of people investigating the allegations from CSGO, and they have interviewed a number of players they believe are named in the ESIC investigation,” the source told us.
“They have interviewed players and owners while trying to determine the overall integrity of their stage. Several organizations have told the players involved that they can not sign them until Riot has cleared them, and this has forced Riot to get involved.
What is not clear is what information Riot could gather that ESIC would not do so, especially since the allegations were made in a league that ran a Valve title.
ESIC’s partners include several prominent gaming websites and gaming commissions working together to combat integrity issues, and as such, their ability to gather evidence is significant.
Another source interviewed as part of the investigation was not convinced by Riot’s interrogation.
“Many of the questions were vague and not about specific times. I was asked if I knew anything about [one of the accused players] ever fix a match and other issues like that. Everyone knows which players did it. We all talk. Some [players] have confessed privately, but if they do not when Riot asks them, I do not see what they can do about it. ”
Whatever the outcome of the investigation, it should be seen as a welcome act by Riot Games.
While the developer has already issued several bans on players who are cheated in tournaments, it is not clear what their attitude will be in relation to match-fixing. It is certainly a suggestion that they may be soft on integrity issues based on incidents they have already handled.
Last year, a Riot investigation cleared Ardis ‘ardiis’ Svarenieks of something wrong, despite another pro player saying he was contacted by Svarenieks to throw a match, and a public recording was leaked containing the player who said he would be willing to fix for two other parties.
The fact that they use resources to investigate the influx of former CSGO players into their game suggests that they may well take action against players who have been found guilty, even if the violations did not take place in Valorant.
Our sources could not tell us if Riot Games intended to publish its findings.
The time for this investigation seems to have come before the announcement from ESIC that their investigation has been slowed down due to the involvement of police authorities, especially the FBI, as revealed by Slash32.