Back in 2014, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was already a hit and team iBUYPOWER was a powerhouse in the competitive global scenario. What nobody knew was that this year would witness one of the worst scandals in CS:GO history.
This promising North American team was accused of participating in a match-fixing scandal that involved an underground multi-party scheme, including some CSGO gambling sites, reports CSGORadar. Read on to understand the iBUYPOWER CS:GO scandal and Valve’s reaction at the time.
A Lookback in CSGO History – How the Scandal Broke Out?
The episode called the “Counter-Strike match-fixing scandal” went down in history as the most controversial situation involving a professional CS:GO team. The situation was exposed by eSports journalist Richard Lewis, which covered the scandal and detailed the scheme in an expository article.
In a match against NetcodeGuides.com, for the fifth season of the CEVO Professional League, the team that was a clear favorite to win the game lost by a ridiculous score at the time: 16×4.
The unexpected defeat created suspicious thoughts and rumors started to spread in the community that the match had been fixed, which was proven in January 2015, after further investigations.
From Shady Rumors to Solid Facts – Further Evidence Reveals the Culprit
The rumors were found to be true by journalist Richard Lewis in January 2015. Lewis worked at a CS:GO betting site and published an article with evidence that most iBuyPower players had bet against their own team and lost the match on purpose.
Besides the athletes who “competed” in the tournament match, other pro-level players were also involved in the scandal, such as Derek “dboorN” Boorn. Text messages from the athlete sent to an ex-girlfriend were used as evidence of the match-fixing scandal.
As investigations continued, a new fact came to light. The NetcodeGuides.com website, which named the team and was owned by Casey Foster, had Sam “DaZed” Marine, captain of iBuyPower, as co-owner.
How Valve Reacted to the Scandal?
All these elements made the group’s activities concerning the scandal even more suspicious. At the end of January 2015, Valve Corp. issued an official statement through its “Integrity and Fair Play” article.
The company stated that after investigating activity on relevant accounts, it was possible to notice that a substantial amount of high-value skins were wagered almost “coincidentally” by iBuyPower players and Casey Foster, founder of NetCodeGuides.com.
As a reaction, the company decided, at first, to indefinitely ban those involved from any event sponsored by iBUYPOWER.
About a year later, in 2016, Valve released a second article on the topic titled “A Follow Up To Integrity and Fair Play.” As part of this second official statement, the company changed the wrongdoers’ status from “indefinitely” to “permanent.”
Who Were the Players Banned by Valve After the CSGO Scandal?
The consequences of Valve’s reaction affected several players with promising careers in the CS:GO competitive scene. The list of pro players banned “ad infinitum” include:
- Duc “cud” Pham
- Derek “dboorN” Boorn
- Sam “DaZeD” Marine
- Braxton “swag” Pierce
- Keven “AZK” Larivière
- Joshua “steel” Nissan
The most highlighted figure behind the scandal was Derek “dboorN” Boorn, a former professional CS 1.6 and CS:GO player. He participated in prestigious international championships, being champion of the Major Esea Invite Finals Season 4, in 2009.
Additionally, he owned one of the gambling accounts caught in the scandal. Another highlight was Sam “DaZeD” Marine, a former professional CS 1.6 and CS:GO player and co-owner of NetcodeGuides.com.
Among his most notable performances was finishing third at the first Major in CS:GO history, the ESWC 2012. In July 2017, players had their bans lifted from events organized by the ESL and ESEA.
In September 2017, tournament organizer DreamHack followed the movement and also released players to play in its tournaments.
Playing Fair & Climbing Higher – The Day After
Only one player from the old iBuyPower lineup did not receive any kind of punishment. Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham refused to accept any kind of illegal benefit at the time, which was confirmed by both the Valve investigation and journalist Richard Lewis.
Later in 2018, he became champion of his first Major, ELEAGUE Boston, playing for legendary CS:GO team Cloud9. At the end of the day, honesty and fair play pay.