Shortly after the events of the Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Tom “Syndicate” Cassell CS:GO Lotto scandal, Valve has acted on its promise to crackdown on 23 gambling sites centered around Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The company has written a cease and desist letter to the aforementioned sites. The following is a statement from Valve:
We are aware that you are operating one of the gambling sites listed below. You are using Steam accounts to conduct this business. Your use of Steam is subject to the terms of the Steam Subscriber Agreement (“SSA”). Under the SSA Steam and Steam services are licensed for persona, non-commercial use only. Your commercial use of Steam accounts is unlicensed and in violation of the SSA. You should immediately cease and desist further use of your Steam accounts for any commercial purposes. If you fail to do this within ten (10) days Valve will pursue all available remedies including without limitation terminating your accounts.
The full letter from Valve can be seen on this link.
Following Valve’s statement, Twitch issued one of their own:
As a reminder, per Twitch’s Terms of Service, broadcasters are not permitted to stream content that breaks the terms of service or user agreements of third-parties. As such, content in which the broadcaster uses or promotes services that violate Valve’s stated restrictions is prohibited on Twitch. Our Rules of Conduct lists other examples such as playing pirated games and playing on unauthorized private servers.
One of the casualties of Valve and Twitch’s crackdown is a streamer named James “PhantomL0rd” Varga, who has recently been banned from Twitch. Varga faced accusations of rigging CS:GO gambles on a website called CSGO Shuffle. The accusations were brought to attention by a hacker who discovered Skype conversations between Varga and CSGO Shuffle coder Duhau Joris. The hacker then brought those conversations to YouTuber Richard Lewis. Lewis claims that the conversations between Varga and Joris “heavily suggest, almost to a degree of certainty, that PhantomL0rd is the owner of CSGO Shuffle, and on top of that, he has gambled exclusively with ‘house money’ taken from the business.”
Shortly after these events, Varga’s channel was closed by the Twitch community, “due to terms of service violations.” Varga’s channel was the 7th most popular on the site with almost 1.4 million followers before it was shut down. As of now, Varga has not issued a statement regarding these accusations and CS:GO Shuffle is currently offline. While Tom Cassell and Trevor Martin were able to walk away from this relatively unscathed, it looks as if Varga’s career as a streamer has come to an end.