After tracking suspects for six months who the authorities said deliberately lost no less than five tournament matches while placing bets on those matches, arrests have been made. The result of the Australian police’s investigation could see those responsible facing as many as ten years in jail for esports match-fixing.
As most of the world’s sports are postponed, many who enjoy betting on sports have turned to watching talented gamers battle it out online while playing esports. The number of people tuning in via the popular Amazon platform Twitch has almost doubles from this time last year. Fans of esports generally tune in to Google’s YouTube, Microsoft’s Mixer, and Twitch to watch professional gamers play many of the best selling Electronic Arts games such as FIFA soccer.
As a result of the increase and the amount of money it is generating, it is tempting many players to break the rules and is seeing a substantial increase in corruption with multiple gamers being caught for participating in illegal betting syndicates who fix matches. As all action is carried out in a virtual world and throughout the world, it is far more difficult to bring an end to this type of behaviour than it is during regular sporting events.
Australia forms Esports Integrity Commission
To combat this, Australia formed the Esports Integrity Commission as a tool to assist in the fighting of corruption in this industry. Its director, Stephen Hanna, while commenting on the challenges said: “It won’t be possible to fully eliminate illegal betting and match-fixing. It’s about limiting its position in the market to the greatest extent possible.”
It is expected that esport wagers will increase to over $13 billion this year, up from $5.5 billion two years ago based on a recent report from EK Gaming & Advisers. This makes it one of the largest in terms of sports betting growth that is estimated to be worth $135 billion globally. That has resulted in betting firms such as Hillside Sports ENC, Tipico and Betway all offering esports as a betting option to their members.
While governments have been attempting to bring an end to esport betting, Sweden is the only one of late who introduced legislation that will fine betting companies that offer odds on any esport matches where the average age of participants is less than 18. The goal is to protect the integrity of esports and bring an end to providing any financial incentives to fix matches. It is expected that the U.S and Spain will also be introducing similar legislation this year or early in 2021.
Retirement is inevitable for athletes, with the body ageing and losing its former stamina. This has extended towards one of the most infamous defencemen with the Montreal Canadians. Andrei Markov at forty-one years of age announced that he’d be retiring from professional hockey immediately. This ends a career that began in Russia, extending towards an additional sixteen seasons with the Montreal Canadians.
Andrei Markov stands at one of the longest-standing players in National Hockey League history. He’s experienced 990 Regular-Season Games, with that number extending with the inclusion of the Stanley Cup Series and Andrei’s time in Russia. The last three seasons of his career was maintained with the Continental Hockey League, where be played with another notable legend by the name of Yaroslavl.
When Andrei Markov still competed with the Montreal Canadians, he stood at their 162nd Overall Pick. The coaching staff would place Andrei on the 1st lineup by 2000, where Markov would compete until 2017. Throughout the 2000-2002 Seasons with the Montreal Canadians, Andrei Markov also played with the American Hockey League’s Quebec Citadels. This infamous capabilities of this defencemen garnered him the title of NHL All-Star twice. It followed after acquiring 119 goals throughout his 990 games, with 572 Points earned in the Montreal Canadians Uniform. There aren’t any other NHL defencemen with this stature.
Representatives & Coaching Staff with the Montreal Canadians expressed their sentiments towards Andrei Markov retiring. They expressed their thanks for his notable career with the Canadians, which followed into the Continental Hockey League in Russia. These individuals mentioned that his legendary status is unforgettable for MC Supporters.
Andrei’s History Continued
This defenceman averaged twenty-three minutes of playtime throughout 990 matches. This means that throughout his NHL career, more than 22+ thousand hours were played on the ice. These valuations extend even further when accounting his time with other teams. It’s formally expected that the NHL Hall of Fame will induct Andrei Markov into their ranks. The defencemen already stand under the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame, which stems from his time with the Quebec Capitals. It’s also expected that Russia will induct him into their Hall of Fame, with Andrei Markov acquiring the communist regime a World Hockey Championship title in 2008.
Formula One 2020 Testing proved to be devasting for nine of ten teams, with Mercedes F1 AMG-Petronas coming out as the dominating force. This followed after they revealed the Dual-Axis Steering System, which quickly became a controversial subject amongst the grid. Teams believed that it provided drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas with a significant advantage over their competitors.
When the Formula International Association approved these innovative features, multiple teams claimed they’d protest this decision through the FIA. This all happened before the COVID-19 pandemic broke-out worldwide and saw Formula One postponed until the summer. News regarding the DAS System is still being revealed, with it being confirmed that this innovative feature evolved through a previous feature seen earlier in the 2010s.
Footage from F1 2020 Testing revealed that both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas pulled their steering wheels towards them while driving on straights. Their front wheels would then pitch slightly outwards to provide better downforce, which ensures higher speed on the straights. Every corner that these drivers would approach saw the steering wheel return to its conventional placement.
Multiple teams questioned the legality behind such a formidable innovation. This concern prompted the FIA to outlaw the DAS System for 2021, which follows after the scheduling of the 2020 Season was required with global social distancing being enforced worldwide. Their concern is the only viable reason behind this outlaw, with the FIA also deciding that the 2020 Cars would remain productive throughout the 2021 season. Postponements on the 2021 Updated Regulations were implemented until 2022.
The Bottas Interview
Valtteri Bottas mentioned through a teleconference that the DAS System was known to himself and Lewis Hamilton for more than twelve months. He expressed that they played a critical role in its development. During his remarks with motorsport reporters, he mentioned that this feature was evolved from a previous component in the earlier years of the Hybrid Era. That component didn’t work in its first iteration, with Mercedes Engineers having to wait a prolonged period to implement the feature to their cars. Bottas noted that the DAS System beat his expectations and would prove a formidable feature when the 2022 Season begins.
The Formula International Association is working with Silverstone organizers to determine if multiple venues should be hosted at the British location. This follows after the Royal Automobile Club, which organizers all events at the Silverstone Circuit, announced that they’d be willing to host multiple venues. RAC Representative also noted that reverse layouts could also be considered under legislative approval. These announcements followed after the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have global implications, with Bernie Ecclestone, have to consider different options with eight Grand Prix’s already being lost.
Representatives with the Royal Automobile Club mentioned on April 1st that FIA organizers had until April 30th to determine if multiple Grand Prix’s should be held at Silverstone. F1 Schedules have the British Grand Prix listed for July 19th. Considering that Great Britain is the powerhouse behind Formula One, sporting analysts believe Bernie Ecclestone and FIA Organizers will support this decision. However, it should be noted that analysts are testing multiple scenarios. This includes extending the 2020 Formula One Season into 2021. Both options could be supported in a singular decision by the F1 CEO.
The Convenience Factor
The Managing Director of Silverstone noted that RAC is willing to implement whatever measures required to assist Formula One. Organizers in F1 are eager to engage with this concept but are first determining what’s best for the overall series. Bernie Ecclestone also has to consider what investors; team owners and drivers want from the 2020 Season. Individuals like Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff will have severe implications over what happens with the 2020 Season. This is because of their close relationship with Bernie Ecclestone, who announced on March 2nd that he’d be expecting a 4th child at the age of 89.
There’d be significant convenience behind moving multiple Grand Prix’s to Silverstone. Several of the ten Formula One teams are operational in Great Britain. It wouldn’t be challenging for the remaining three teams to set up temporary facilities. The Managing Director expressed that Silverstone is one of the limited circuits supporting the required infrastructure for multiple races. The decision ultimately falls on behalf of Bernie Ecclestone.