Recently, substantial evidence came to light that a number of pro players had been involved in a huge Counter-Strike: Global Offensive match-fixing/gambling scandal. Valve took their time investigating, but now they've finally decided to bring the hammer down. Hard.

In the wake of a multi-team conspiracy that saw one of the best Counter-Strike teams in North America throw a match against relative small fries so certain pros could cash in on underdog bets, Valve passed their verdict down in a blog post:

All together, the information we have collected and received makes us uncomfortable continuing any involvement with these individuals. Therefore we will be directing our CS:GO event partners to not allow any of the following individuals' participation in any capacity in Valve-sponsored events:

Duc "cud" Pham

Derek "dboorn" Boorn

Casey Foster

Sam "Dazed" Marine

Braxton "swag" Pierce

Keven "AZK" Larivière

Joshua "Steel" Nissan

Professional players, their managers, and teams' organization staff, should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches, associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, or deliver information to others that might influence their CS:GO bets.

So basically, Valve has a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of garbage. I hope other would-be cheaters, match-fixers, and (illicit) gamblers are paying attention.

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For those not in the know, these banned players make up a large portion of iBUYPOWER, considered by many to be the best North American Counter-Strike team. Meanwhile, members of similarly high-ranked (by NA standards) teams Cloud9 and Torqued are also out, as are people involved on the side of the team that "won" the ill-fated match, NetcodeGuides. All told, this is a pretty big blow to North America's Counter-Strike scene, although a number of lower-ranked NA teams picked up big wins over the weekend at MLG X Games Aspen. Hope is far from lost, but this is disappointing, to say the least. These players got what they deserved, but it sucks that they decided to go and pull this giant, idiotic ruse in the first place.