After ESIC published a report referring evidence relating to potential match-fixing and betting fraud in EPIC League CIS Spring 2021 of Akuma players to Valve, we contacted the former CEO of Project X Olexandr Shyshko — he is also accused of suspicious bets on the outcome of the match with Virtus.pro.
— You probably have already seen the ESIC report …
— With this cavil? They’ve gone crazy.
— What do you think about this statement?
— This statement from ESIC is an attempt to put facts under their theory. They took theory and chose selective facts that would fit. I really bet on esports, often and on many events. In the vast majority of cases, I lose. Sometimes I win, but I prefer to bet on big odds — it makes the game more interesting to watch.
Once for 200 years, I got a shot — and they need to tie it up right away! Moreover, I have nothing to do with Project X players since the disband of the team. I have nothing to do with Akuma all the more.
— Can you comment on «accurate pre-match bets on the outcome of the Virtus Pro v Akuma match in the CIS RMR»?
— Let’s assume that the match was not with Akuma, but with someone else, in a different discipline. Anyone could see that I have a history of bets. It just happened that the guys won, what do I have to do now…
— Yes, apart from the names it may be a coincidence, but against the background of the general situation, you cannot deny that it looks extremely suspicious. If you don’t deal with the players now, you had it before, when they were banned by the bookmakers. What do you know about this?
— I did not cooperate with them back then when they were banned. We took them to Project X when they have already been banned. I am not currently in touch with Akuma players.
— After you saw the ESIC report, did you contact someone?
— We tried to contact the Commission, said that we are open to dialogue, let’s figure it out. Because it turns out that this whole situation is very one-sided. There must be some norms. Let’s take a comprehensive look: if I made a thousand bets, conditionally, but one turned out to be some kind of «suspicious», in quotes, then what do you want from me, to be quartered now? I have nothing to do with it. I bet a lot and just hit it. This is psychology: I knew the guys, I saw that they were playing in such a tournament, so I decided to do so.
— The ESIC report sounded the wording “accurate pre-match bets on the outcome of the Virtus Pro v Akuma”. Can you share information about the exact bets, what you were betting on?
— I’ll take a look right in front of you. I’m even ashamed to say, I’ve bet a trifle, for fun … Here, I have one bet, on the Akuma’s victory over VP with the score 2:0.
— Is this the only bet?
— Yes, this is my only bet on the Virtus.pro — Akuma match. How could I be sure of outcome? It’s Virtus.pro! I just blurted out a bet … I didn’t get rich cosmically, I won a penny.
— Is this your only account?
— No, It’s not the only bookmaker that I am getting services of. There are two, actually, but I put a bet on this event only at one. I usually bet in one app, depending on which has more money.
— The ESIC statement also refers to a number of highly suspicious matches involving Project X…
— I have no idea what this is about. I put bets just a few times for the whole time, and only if the opponent was much stronger. But I almost always lost. In Project X there was not the best tendency, that’s why we parted our ways with them — the results went down a lot. You invest in them, you are friends, and they only play worse. Now I can say that it was worth the wait, but it was my debut in esports, so you can understand. At the same time, it was my last time in esports.
— And you say that you took a team with a ban. Didn’t this fact bother you?
— The fact is that I did not really understand everything. We collaborated with them, not for that long, only a few months. Almost at the very beginning, I learned from strangers that they have a ban. But the guys practically did not play then, they only practiced and took part in small matches that are not even on HLTV.
It was my debut, I could afford it. I tried — but as you can see, I did not have enough patience, and I am not very sharpened for this.
— Do you think the players are to blame for the Akuma scandal or not?
— Absolutely not. This is my opinion. When we met, I saw the most ideological fanatics, but I still warned them about participation in match-fixing. Knowing them personally, I think that they take this hate-wave very painfully. It’s just that «the titan fell», NAVI and Virtus.pro been defeated, and now they cannot survive it.