Valve Bans More Counter-Strike Pros, Tells Them Not to Bet on Matches [UPDATE]

"The strength of professional Counter-Strike comes from the integrity of its players and teams."

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Update:

After the aptly named player Paweł "innocent" Mocek protested that his team, ex-ESC, was banned without proof, Valve investigated the matter further and reversed its ban on him and his teammates.

"The ex-ESC players were restricted from participating in Valve-sponsored events because their historical account activity matched allegations of misconduct," Valve said in a statement published by ESL. "However, further investigation has clarified their role in the matter, and the restriction has been lifted."

The following players are now going to be able to compete in the offline qualifier to the $250,000 ESL One Katowice tournament:

  • Grzegorz “SZPERO” Dziamalek
  • Jacek “minise” Jeziak
  • Pawel “innocent” Mocek
  • Karol “rallen” Rodowicz
  • Mikolaj “mouz” Karolewski

The original story follows below:

Valve has banned an additional 19 professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players from sponsored events and instructed players to never bet on games they could have inside information on, the company has announced.

The news follows allegations of professional Counter-strike teams intentionally fixing matches in recent competitions. After gathering information from players and reviewing historical activity of accounts, Valve said it directed its CS:GO event partners to not allow the following players to participate in any capacity in Valve-sponsored events:

  • Kevin “Uzzziii” Vernel
  • Joey “fxy0” Schlosser
  • Robin “GMX” Stahmer
  • Morgan “B1GGY” Madour
  • Damian “DiAMon” Zarski
  • Michal “bCK” Lis
  • Jakub “kub” Pamula
  • Mateusz “matty” Kolodziejczyk
  • Michal “michi” Majkowski
  • Karol “rallen” Rodowicz
  • Mikolaj “mouz” Karolewski
  • Grzegorz “SZPERO” Dziamalek
  • Pawel “innocent” Mocek
  • Jacek “minise” Jeziak

Additionally, the following players will not be eligible to participate in the $250,000 ESL One Katowice tournament as it continues its investigation.

  • Robin “r0bs3n” Stephan
  • Tahsin “tahsiN” Sarikaya
  • Koray “xall” Yaman
  • Ammar “am0” Cakmak
  • Antonin “TONI” Bernhardt

Finally, in a post to the official CS:GO blog titled "Unnecessary Risks" Valve said that professional players or anyone involved in the production of CS:GO events should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches or associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, because they might have inside information.

"Because of this, we will always assume that you have access to private CS:GO-related 'inside information' that might give you an unfair advantage when placing a bet on any CS:GO game or match," Valve said.

Note that this is a "recommendation," not a rule, though it's a recommendation that players should heed, as Valve obviously has no problem banning players if they don't. This might also all seem like it should all be common sense, but keep in mind that the popularity of eSports and huge cash prizes are all relatively new, especially for CS:GO.

Valve is also clearly aware that these incidents reflect poorly on eSports and endanger its future. "It’s important to consider the substantial impact an individual professional Counter-Strike player has on the health and stability of the sport," Valve said. "Performing before an audience of millions of fans, you are ambassadors for your game – the strength of professional Counter-Strike comes from the integrity of its players and teams."

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