Back in August, during the CEVO Professional Season 5, a CS:GO game between iBUYPOWER and NetcodeGuides.com ended in controversy. iBUYPOWER were widely expected to walk the match, yet they ended up losing 16-4 while exhibiting strange behaviour when attempting knife kills.
Shortly after, an eSports journalist came forward, claiming to have spoken with Shahzeb 'ShahZam' Khan prior to the match and provided screengrabs where ShahZam indicated iBUYPOWER were intending to deliberately lose. However, when he was confronted and asked to elaborate on his messages, ShahZam declined to comment. Nobody pressed the matter further and the situation was left at that.
Then a report from the Daily Dot, citing multiple sources, was released online earlier this month, which went a long way to prove that the match was actually fixed. The report claimed that a multiple of unusual bets were placed prior to the match by a player with strong connections to both teams. The wagers paid out over $10,000 in earnings.
In addition, a series of text messages sent to a former girlfriend of an ex-iBUYPOWER player presented new details in regards to the match-fixing scandal. Derek 'dboorn' Boorn claims he had been instructed to bet for the team on alternate accounts and that iBUYPOWER did intentionally lose matches.
The texts were released on Reddit soon after. While they were initially pronounced as fake, the Daily Dot were able to prove the authenticity of these messages in collaboration with dboorn's ex-girlfriend. This, in turn, inspired others to come forward with further evidence, including ShahZam himself.
ShahZam finally admitted to the Daily Dot that he had in fact placed a bet against iBUYPOWER in August, but had been advised to change the bet by Netcode Guides founder, Casey Foster. ShahZam went on to say that he had fully planned on revealing everything to the Daily Dot, but Foster advised him otherwise, as the scandal would issue a significant blow towards the stature of the NA competitive CS:GO scene and would likely cause iBUYPOWER to lose their sponsorship.
Valve soon paid close attention to the overwhelming evidence and chose to ban six players and one organisation co-owner from participating in any future major tournaments, clearly stating that 'professional players, their managers and teams' organization staff, should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches.'
As a result of the evidence, Valve have now banned the following figures from competing in any Valve-sponsored events...
- Casey Foster
- Duc 'cud' Pham
- Derek 'dboorn' Boorn
- Sam 'Dazed' Marine
- Braxton 'swag' Pierce
- Keven 'AZK Larivièr
- Joshua 'Steel' Nissan
For the full story, be sure to read the Daily Dot's comprehensive report, which includes direct quotes from the parties involved.
Photo credit: The Daily Dot eSports
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