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ESforce on details of CS:GO Lounge operation

Some time ago, messages appeared on social networks and in online media alleging ESforce Holding’s indirect involvement in CS:GO match fixing.

These discussions began in the wake of the ELEAGUE Major grand final between FaZe Clan and Cloud9, in which Cloud9 won and Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham was deemed MVP. The following day, Tomi “Iurppis” Kovanen, a former professional CS 1.6 player turned analyst and commentator, posted a tweet which prompted a discussion on match fixing in CS:GO.

The tweet made a reference to the events of January 2015, when four iBUYPOWER players — Joshua “steel” Nissan, Braxton “swag” Pierce, Sam “DaZeD” Marine and Keven “AZK” Lariviere — were given lifetime bans by Valve and several tournament runners. The 2015 investigation had been initiated by Richard Lewis.

In a recent discussion, after a mention was made of the iBUYPOWER precedent, Richard Lewis wrote that “the records of most of these bets were bought by ESForce”.

The discussion spread beyond social media and prompted a number of speculative online articles on the subjects. We at ESforce have analyzed the situation and feel it necessary to clarify several key points.

As previously announced, ESforce Holding invested in CS:GO Lounge in May 2016, primarily as in a service for trading in-game items and predicting match outcomes, and an entertainment medium with a daily audience of over a million users. After receiving a notification from Valve, it was decided that CS:GO Lounge would no longer accept bets in in-game items or real money; CS:GO lost up to 90 percent of its audience, and ceased to be one of ESforce’s priority projects.

CS:GO Lounge had no money withdrawal tools and never made a profit as a betting platform. Ads were its main source of income.

Ever since ESforce has bought 90 percent of the company that runs CS:GO Lounge, contradictory and unreliable information has been emerging on the internet regarding the service, its functionality, and the amount of the deal.

After Valve blocked the bots that were holding users’ in-game items, we decided to refund the lost items at our own expense. The item refund program launched in December 2017.

CS:GO Lounge was capable of storing a certain kind of information on betting, for archiving purposes exclusively. Said array of data was compiled on the factual basis of actions taken by users on the website.

ESforce Holding never had knowledge of any match-fixing for skins or other valuables put up on CS:GO Lounge. ESforce also never deliberately purchased information on any fixed matches, since our goal is to support and develop esports fully compliant to the rules of fair play and high international standards.

Over the past three years, ESforce has invested over 60 million dollars in esports. This is very important for the industry. During this time, the company paid about 10 million dollars in player salaries, and several million dollars in tournament prize money. ESforce also created over 500 jobs in the esports market, bringing many people into the industry and helping them grow. One of the largest esports arenas in the world, Yota Arena, opened in Moscow in May 2017.

All of the above facts speak to ESforce being an open company whose fundamental working principles are honesty, respect for partners, and support for the high standards of the esports industry. Media representatives are welcome to contact us at any time for comment on any contentious issues.