Victoria Police Investigating More Match Fixing, Organised Crime Links To Aussie Overwatch Team

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

The crackdown on Australian esports has already begun, but a report from the ABC this morning has raised the stakes several notches after questioning the ownership of a local Overwatch Contenders team.

The report from ABC's 7.30, which went online early Tuesday morning, touches on the ongoing investigation from Victoria Police that resulted in the arrest of multiple Australian Counter-Strike players. The report includes previously unannounced details, however, including the figure that Victoria Police believe that as much as $30,000 could have been won on the rigged Counter-Strike matches that triggered the first major esports integrity investigation in Australia.

Expect More Esports Arrests In Australia Soon

Last week Victoria Police announced six Australians had been charged over the rigging and betting on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive matches, one of the first cases of its kind in the country. And more charges may be coming, according to the esports integrity body that worked with Victoria Police on the investigation.

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That's not the only juicy detail, though. Neil Paterson, the assistant commissioner of Victoria Police, told the ABC that he believed more esports corruption cases to emerge. And that was immediately followed by a paragraph suggesting that concerns have been raised around the ownership of an Overwatch contenders team:

[Victoria Police's] Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit has received reports of match fixing in other Counter-Strike: Global Offensive games, and about organised crime links to the ownership of an Australian-based team that plays the Overwatch Contenders game.

The team isn't named, although most of the teams in the Australian Overwatch Contenders league also have teams in other games. "We are seeing people encroach on that area that have reputations that [mean they] probably … shouldn't be involved in this part of esports," the assistant police commissioner is quoted as saying.

I've contacted Blizzard Australia for comment, asking whether they were aware of the investigation, the assistant commissioner's remarks and what steps they take to ensure the integrity of tournaments in Australia. I've also contacted the Esports Integrity Commission, which helped Victoria Police with the original Counter-Strike investigation, for further clarification on the commissioner's remarks.


Comments

    It's starting to look like viewers/punters might've been the ones to blow the whistle and that those involved were being extremely brazen.

      CS:GO crowd calls bullshit over the slightest provocation. I'd say what triggered it was the increased bets on a fairly low-level Australian CS match.

        HA! Could've been a little from each column but that does sound more likely.

    I can't wait for the new season of Underbelly Esports Edition.

    (Also, did Alex have this story all typed up and ready to tweak+hit update when the ABC report came out? I'm noticing other sites starting to pick this story up just now, some 24hrs after Kotaku.)

      Just going back to this but I didn't! I actually didn't see the ABC piece until it came across my feed, but I have a habit of reading through these longer things. There's always a solid nugget or two at the bottom, like that Wired PlayStation Now piece which had the cross-play news completely buried.

      I wish I had the time to pre-write more things x_x

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