Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
ESIC were asked to investigate allegations of breaches of the Anti-Corruption Code in Season 2 of the Rainbow 6 Pro-League by FENIX and PENTA Sports. Normally and in accordance with the Code, ESIC would not comment on investigations that are in progress or have concluded that there is no case to answer, but the allegations in this case have given rise to a great deal of accusation, speculation and comment on social media and we conclude, therefore, that exceptional circumstances exist and it is in the relevant teams’ and the League’s best interest that ESIC make a public statement.
There were two separate allegations:
1. FENIX deliberately boosted PENTA Sports’ league position by withdrawing from the League just before week 7 commenced. The fact that 2 members of the former FENIX roster joined PENTA Sports some six weeks later is cited as “evidence” that the advantage PENTA Sports received was planned.
2. PENTA Sports deliberately underperformed against GiFu in order to deny Seach Orga a place in the LAN final and/or because they (PENTA Sports) did not want to go to the final.
ESIC looked at a range of evidence, some of which is in the public domain, but most of which is not. This includes text and other recorded conversations with players in both teams as well as anonymous sources and, of course, expert analysis of the game play of Penta in the match against GiFu. Whist ESIC cannot divulge the evidence itself, we are able to say that it is wholly insufficient to sustain either allegation. Without breaching confidentiality, we are able to say:
In respect of allegation 1: It was known from at least week 4 of the League that members of PENTA Sports’ roster were leaving at the end of the season and it was well known that PENTA Sports were talking to many players about joining them at the end of the season, including members of FENIX, not all of whom joined PENTA Sports between seasons 7 and 8. Equally, it was known that FENIX was considering disbanding well in advance of the alleged conspiracy. In any event, ESIC could find no compelling evidence of a conspiracy in July between PENTA Sports and FENIX or those members of FENIX that joined PENTA Sports in August.
In respect of allegation 2: There was no betting on the game (well over 90% of match-fixing is motivated by betting fraud), which raises a serious issue of motive that could not be overcome in ESIC’s opinion. In other words, why would PENTA Sports throw the match? Enmity towards another team (in this case allegedly Seach Orga) is unlikely to motivate anyone sufficiently to lose out on prize money and prestige and risk incurring the displeasure of one’s employer. Not wanting to go to the final may mean a team is not as motivated as it should be, but it usually would not mean that a team is actively motivated to deliberately lose. In any event, ESIC finds the alleged unwillingness to go to the final unproven.
ESIC acknowledges that there may be new evidence in existence that it has not seen and invites anyone to send such evidence to email@example.com . This is not an invitation to repeat the allegations and accusations that have been so well rehearsed on social media – we are interested in hard evidence, not the speculations of observers on what went on or “alternative” analyses of the gameplay in the GiFu match. If anything compelling arises, ESIC will reopen the investigation, but, until then, the finding of no case to answer stands and no prosecution will be mounted. No further comment will be made on this case and no interviews given by ESIC.
• This media release was originally sent out via email by the e-Sports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) on 14 September 2016.
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