ESEA Main player implicated in "cash for forfeit" matchfixing scheme
Last night, ESEA Main player "brannd" released a leaked recording of two players discussing forfeiting a match during Season 40. The recording features Monstar allegedly trying to covince Abe "alaNi" Alani to have his team forfeit the match for a financial incentive. As discussed in the recording, Monstar allegedly offered $100 in skins or cash as his team, TPGblue, needed to win their final match to avoid demotion to Intermediate.
In the recording, for which a transcript can be found below, Monstar laments the state of his team, saying they they don't know utility and that he is planning to do a complete rebuild for next season. This leads into Monstar explaining to alaNi that he is willing to offer something to ensure they keep their spot in the division, despite the team's "internal issues".
In response, alaNi asks him for more details regarding what is being offered and how Monstar plans on sharing it. Monstar offers skins or cash and explains that in order to protect everyone's "reputations", that he only wants to discuss the offer over voice so it doesn't leak out. Likewise, he later suggests that if alaNi and his teammates want to be paid in cash, the PayPal listing will be for "skins" to obfuscate what's going on.
The two players continue talking about it for a few more minutes before Monstar leaves and alaNi says he'll discuss the offer with his teammates.
In order to validate the recording, Dust2.us reached out to a former teammate of Monstar and a friend of alaNi's to confirm the identity of the two voices in the recording. When Dust2.us reached out to alaNi, he confirmed that he made the recording as his team was suspicious of Monstar after he reached out to discuss a private matter he would only elaborate on over a Discord call. Dust2.us understands that alaNi shared this recording along with a trove of screenshots regarding Monstar's attempt to claim a forfeit.
ESEA support recommended that despite the evidence of an attempted fix by Monstar, they play the match anyway while the matter was escalated to senior tournament management and later ESIC. alaNi and xpLicit went on to play the match, an 8-16 loss on Inferno, which allowed Monstar and co. to play Season 41. While the payment for the forfeit never went through, it is worth noting that this is a similar scenario to ChocoCheck's in 2021 where Sebastian "retchy" Tropiano and Kevin "4pack" Pryzpasniak were sanctioned for discussing a breach of competitive integrity despite it not happening in the end.
Dust2.us reached out ESEA to inquire about the status of the investigation, with ESEA declining to comment. Dust2.us also reached out to Monstar for comment but did not hear back at the time of publication. At the time of publication, Monstar has yet to face any sanction nor have ESEA/ESIC commented on the matter publicly, despite the evidence being forwarded to ESIC over two months ago.
While he hasn't responded to a request for comment, Monstar has taken to Twitter to claim ESEA confirmed he wasn't on the call and that his name has been cleared:
Dust2.us has been unable to corroborate these claims due to ESEA declining our request for comment, as previously mentioned.
A complete transcription of the relevant part of the Twitter clip can be found below:
Monstar: Ok so pretty much we have internal issues going on. So pretty much we had rosters swaps and internal issues. I don't want to ruin my reputation or anything like that so I asked Icy if he knew you and he said yeah, you're a standup guy. I said ok sweet so not gonna get backlash from it so there any way you guys won't show up on Sunday?
alaNi: I mean it's possible, what do you guys need?
Monstar: We have to get the win and the way it's... you know it's going I mean it's terrible. Half the people won't be there next season.
alaNi: Gotcha, so basically you guys going to rebuild?
Monstar: Yeah, I don't know if you guys are ok with that or if you something for it.
alaNi: What are you guys trying to give?
Monstar: I can give cash, I can do a skin, whatever you want to do.
alaNi: Damn alright. Yeah let me finish up this match... we have a match in like an hour and a half or something. Then yeah we can figure something out.
Monstar: Yeah I mean I wanna keep it... don't wanna ruin my reputation obviously. I wanna keep it voice chat only.
alaNi: Yeah I don't blame you man. I was wondering when you messaged fucking shiro, I was like 'that's weird.' Whatever.
Monstar: Well Icy told me to message him and then he told me that he told me no, message this guy and I was like 'well who am I talking to?'
alaNi: Yeah shiro is our most quiet person that's why I thought it was weird.
Monstar: I mean like if you wanna do like... are all five of you guys sticking together?
alaNi: Yeah we run the same five every season.
Monstar: Yeah so if you want me to like kick you a PayPal and then you spread it out or whatever you wanna do. I can link the PayPal thing like skin.
alaNi: What are skins even going for now? I have all old shit man.
Monstar: No, what I'm saying is when I send the PayPal to you, I'll say "skin" so you know... there's not... nothing comes back on you or me or anyone.
alaNi: Sweet. How much you thinkin? I'll tell the guys.
Monstar: I mean, you wanna do a hundred or you want more?
alaNi: I mean eh, I guess that's fair, that's fine.
Monstar: Ok and then you wanna do half up front and then half after we get the forfeit.
alaNi: I could do it then, it's no biggie, I'm not trippin' brotha.
Monstar: What, after the match you wanna do it?
alaNi: Yeah, whatever's easier for you.
Monstar: Yeah definitely, I truly appreciate it man. Next season if you guys wanna run scrims or whatever all the time I'm definitely down but I gotta get these guys off the fucking roster. It's been a fuckin nightmare.
alaNi: Been there done that man.
Monstar: Me and nathanx are the only two that have a braincell and like they don't know utility and like I go over the utility... and it's a fucking nightmare bro and I'm losing my mind. You can watch one of our demos and see most flashes is me, most smokes is me, all that shit.
alaNi: For sure.
Monstar: But yeah, if you're cool with it, talk it over with the guys and then we can do another voice chat and see if a hundred is good with them.
alaNi: Ok that works man, I'll talk with them, see what's up.
Monstar: Appreciate yuh.
alaNi: Take care.