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ESIC suspends CS:GO player for match-fixing

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has suspended professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) player Joel Holmlund for allegedly placing bets on matches he played in.

ESIC accused Holmlund – who played for CS:GO team Godsent – of breaching its Anti-Corruption Code when competing in the BetBoom Playlist Urbanistic event and IEM Dallas 2023 qualifier.

The integrity body alleges Holmlund placed bets on matches he played in between 27-28 March 2023. He is also accused of placing two bets against his own team on 31 March 2023.

ESIC said overall, Holmlund made 17 bets on various CS:GO matches between 29 March and 1 May 2023.

Breaching ESIC’s code

As such, ESIC charged Holmlund with several breaches of its code. This included section 2.1.1, which prohibits conspiring to fix a match.

Additionally, it charged Holmlund with several other breaches relating to its betting code. These consisted of betting on matches he participated in and concealing this from ESIC, as well as bringing esports into disrepute.

ESIC, “considering the gravity of the allegations”, opted to suspend Holmlund from all ESIC member events.

On X, formerly Twitter, Holmlund denied the allegations. In a statement he said he first heard of the charges on 30 August, but was told no further actions would be taken.

“Today they decided to make a public statement, that is extremely injustice [sic],” he said. “They are accusing me of several stuff I didn’t do, and that’s fairly obvious, still, if I come out publicly with them I am breaking the confidentiality,” he said.

Holmlund said he is willing to cooperate with ESIC on the matter, and intends to submit a final answer to the charges with his lawyer on 6 October.

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