Australian police are investigating Overwatch corruption controversy in light of several reports of corruption being made. In August Australian police arrested six Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players due to suspicions of match fixing. These players had allegedly made deals to throw certain matches, placing bets on those matches themselves. Now the situation has evolved as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation report that police have also received information regarding corruption within a pro Overwatch team.
Neil Paterson, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner, told press that the CS:GO match fixing reports were received by their Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit. It’s been further reported that the owners of an Australian-based Overwatch team have been linked to organised crime. In addition, the team were allegedly involved in matches where betting anomalies were detected.
Paterson went on to explain how there is no specific fit for someone who should be the owner of an eSports team. As a result, there are some people in the position of owning a team who really shouldn’t be, in the opinion of the police. In fact, Paterson went as far as guaranteeing that this can’t be the only case of match fixing or betting anomalies in the Australian esports environment.
Five of the people who were recently arrested were 20 years old or younger, with no criminal history. Now those people face up to 10 years in jail. Paterson says that he doesn’t see anyone doing anything about either the number of people getting involved in gambling at such a young age, or those corrupting it.
The amount of money involved in the CS:GO match fixing alone is estimated to be around $30,000, but there is substantially more at stake when you take into account the prizes awarded for esports tournaments. For example, the winner of the recent Fortnite World Cup took home $3 million. According to Paterson, dozens more people could be arrested in connection with the allegations.