The cosmetic component has been a key feature of CS:GO from previous games in the series. The addition of skins in 2013 is arguably the biggest update to the game to this day without affecting the mechanics. Millions of players monitor the Marketplace day and night, trying to snag a skin at an affordable price. At the same time, players have access to cases and containers from which skins fall. In general, try their luck there. It remains to be seen what effect gambling has on the CS:GO professional scene.
The manifestation of gambling in CS:GO
In our epilogue, we touched on the tip of what can be called gambling. At one time, thousands of people were crafting Dragon Lore, which cost space money. But most interestingly, the big bucks were not given for any tangible component, but for a skin you can only look at. Research on the game showed that players spent $5 billion in 2016. This amount includes everything: buying skins on the Marketplace, opening containers and cases, and betting. Moreover, about 40% of the total amount went through platforms called roulette. Later Valve changed its attitude to this kind of gambling, blocking thousands of accounts with skins obtained through roulette sites.
The manifestation of gambling on the professional scene
The most famous incident of professional matchmaking involving skins and gambling is the 2014 iBUYPOWER scandal. Journalist Richard Lewis investigated rumors of a “weird match” and found out that iBUYPOWER was betting against themselves. A little later, the lineup will be blocked and the investigation will come to an end.
Other high-profile players and teams have either been accused or participated in questionable betting practices. For example, the FACEIT Spring League 2014 match between Virtus.pro and LDLC was played very early, but was scheduled to be broadcast at a later time. Players who knew this then bet to capitalize on the fact that they knew the outcome.
Many players have sponsors in the form of gambling websites and actively promote gambling through broadcasts on Twitch or YouTube. The same roulette sites often sponsor big tournaments. For example, in previous years WTFSkins sponsored cs_summit and EGB sponsored the PGL Major: Krakow and StarSeries Season 4.
What’s the big deal if there’s a whole competitive market where roulette works in conjunction with the professional scene. While this may raise some ethical questions, the growth of these companies in both cybersports and traditional sports means that they operate openly and allow them to be scrutinized like any other business, rather than hiding in the unregulated shadows of the Internet.
There is an infamous case involving the manager of the AVANGAR organization. He was sending messages addressed to k0nfig. The message was about death. And the reason for that was lost bet of 300 dollars. This is an obvious example of the influence of gambling on the professional scene.
While the natural distrust of gambling is understandable, their rise in traditional sports is simply reflected in cybersports. Conflicts of interest occur to this day. The impact of gambling on the professional scene is certainly enormous. And in this abyss of events, it will be difficult for cybersports to get out. The industry has driven itself into difficult conditions. And if gambling is not dealt with, it will get worse.