The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has announced a strict crackdown on violations of the anti-corruption code and has once again taken tough action. Four Ukrainian professional Counter-Strike players have been banned for two years. The sanctions are based on unusual betting patterns that were discovered in connection with matches played by these players. It appears that the four Ukrainians committed match-fixing.
These measures underline ESIC’s determination to ensure the integrity of esports and to ruthlessly combat unethical behavior such as match-fixing.
Who are the four Ukrainian professionals?
The four players are SENSEi, THRONE, nat1ve and DarkS1DE. The relevant teams are Akuma, Project X and MAJESTY.
Dmitriy “SENSEi” Shvorak was banned for attempting to matchfix at multiple Project X LAN events. Max “THRONE” Semenov, Artur “DarkS1DE” Kravchenko and Danylo “nat1ve” Bakin were banned for matchfixing allegations during an unspecified Bulgarian LAN event from 2020.
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… pic.twitter.com/ks6aEh1O5f
— ESIC (@ESIC_Official) November 29, 2023
SENSEi, known as a high-ranking player of Akuma, was involved in allegations during his time before Akuma. The Akuma team itself had previously been embroiled in scandals over allegations of cheating. However, current punishments are solely due to his activities at Project X.
These players are also in the spotlight for fraud
However, the ESIC is not only concerned with these four players and their offenses.In addition to these four players, Burak “Monkeylay” Can Turunç was given a similar punishment for betting offenses.Joel “joel” Holmlund, also the focus of the ESIC investigation, continues to proclaim his innocence as his investigation is ongoing.The penalties for the four players mentioned will expire on October 24, 2025, and an identical suspension has already begun for “Monkeylay”. Although allegations were also made against Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov, the ESIC did not find sufficient evidence to sanction him. New Natus Vincere member w0nderful was accused of being involved in matchfixing in MAJESTY a year ago by short-term ESIC staff member Alexey “Yarabeu” Kurlov, but apparently there was solid evidence, because nothing has happened yet and the player has still not been banned.
The expiration date for the suspensions for the four Ukrainians is expected to be October 24, 2025.
ESIC cracks down on match-fixing
The suspension has once again shown that the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) takes a strict stance on rule violations. The ESIC uses investigations and sanctions to ensure compliance with standards.
Valve takes a rigorous approach to VAC bans and excludes banned players from official tournaments. A zero-tolerance policy on cheating and match-fixing is displayed in the hope that other players will be deterred.