Earlier today, Chinese esports organization Flash Gaming announced that it will be disbanding its CS:GO roster. The move left three players into free agency, with two more on temporary loans to the competition.
At first, it seemed the decision stemmed from Flash Gaming losing two core players. On Jan. 1, the team lent Cai “Summer” Yu Lun and Sheng “Attacker” Yuan Zhang to TYLOO, which left them with two vacant spots to fill. A recent announcement from Flash Gaming’s founder, however, shed more light on the matter, and called to attention some of the rot in the Chinese CS:GO scene.
“After I entered the Chinese CSGO scene, I began to realize the reality is far from the esports dream I once had,” Endy wrote on Weibo (translation courtesy of /u/InXaneGZ). Without naming anything specific, the founder then continued to speak of match-fixing and cheating practices in the scene, the value of money over anything else and the sorry state of the Chinese LAN scene.
“The distributor of the game turns a blind eye to the dark and shady things happening in the scene. Throughout the 2-year journey, I learnt the presence of unspoken rules in the industry that are shocking and unheard. As far as I know, currently there are people paying players from other teams to match-fix, using cheats in matches, trying to call-out spots in a LAN environment, threatening players’ safety in LANs, and most hilariously, cutting internet cables. I have even heard that some teams pay around tens of thousands for the GOTV IP that allows them to spectate 10 players on the server with zero delay in online matches, and claim that they can win or lose according to their wish.”
“The Chinese CS:GO scene is ill,” Endy added.
While Endy’s words come with no tangible proof, it wouldn’t be the first time the Chinese esports scene is put in bad light. In 2016, a GosuGamers report exposed the widespread wintrading and pay-to-legend service in Chinese Hearthstone, a problem Blizzard’s local distributor NetEase confirmed it was aware of and trying to combat. In 2017, Hong Kong team inchk1ng was banned by E-Frag because of match-fixing. In the same year, T.O.T and EMP were in conflict with WCA, the former receiving year-long bans for match-fixing and subbing in players. Then in March 2018, two Chinese Dota 2 teams were caught trying to lose both at the same time.
With Valve now officially launching Steam China, the company ought to start regulating the Chinese esports markets better. Valve have been known for their hands-off approach when it comes to their esports titles, but the rampant spread of misconduct and malicious behavior are heavy detriments to any scene if left unchecked.