There’s a lot of unspoken rules and hard guidelines behind the scenes when it comes to sporting events. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing either, there are just some things that you don’t do. One of the biggest rules that fall into this category: You Don’t Bet While You’re In The Game. Apparently, no one told that to the world of eSports, specifically to Allen Cook. Who is Allen Cook? He’s the team analyst and sales manager for Ad Finem, a Greek eSports team who compete in games like Hearthstone and Dota 2. Cook made the news rounds last week after he tweeted out that he placed bets on his own team, as well as a competing team, OG, on who would place at the Boston Major in December. Turns out he won big as OG took first place while AF, his own team mind you, took second.
— Allen Cook (@thisisallencook) March 4, 2017
As reported by Kotaku yesterday, Cook walked away with 1,110.15£ ($1358.32). Cook gave a response to the situation, saying he doesn’t regret it and that he donated the money to charity, but that doesn’t prove he didn’t have insider information on the outcome, which is why people involved with sports risk placing bets in the first place. Pete Rose didn’t make money off his own games because he took a guess, he knew the teams stats for that day and how well they might perform. Gamblers take risks, but professional gamblers make smart calls. There’s no evidence to prove that Cook didn’t have insider information prior to the match, nor is there any way to prove or disprove that a player may not have performed as well as they could have on his behalf. And to top all that off, there’s no formal system of investigation to look into the matter and confirm findings either way. That’s where life gets really shady on the subject.
While Cook has given a lengthy explanation on that post, it doesn’t excuse him for what he’s done. But there’s no way to stop him as there’s no governing body over every single eSports league on the planet, and every tournament has it’s own rules and regulations going into the event. So while it’s shady, there’s nothing anyone can do about it. And as far as his own team goes, the Ad Finem manager Mike Chatzialexiou tweeted out that he’s not ditching Cook, and in fact is keeping him on as they head to Kiev in April.
All due respect to everyone involved with AF… that’s some major BS. Regardless of how you may think of yourselves as a team and the sport as a whole, you need to act like it first to earn the respect of one. Cook should have been fired from the team, end of discussion. I don’t care what charity you donate to in order to justify it, there is no justification. And if AF refuses to fire him, then the Dota Major Championships shouldn’t allow the team to play, or disqualify them if Cook takes part in the event in any way. If this is allowed to happen without consequence, you kick the door open for teams and representatives to throw games on purpose in order to make a quick buck off their own “failure.” It’s happened before in every single sport you’ve ever known, which is why there are rules against anyone involved with a team being allowed to place bets.
That same thing needs to happen here and now. Call it the “Cook Rule,” kick him out of the eSport, and make a stand that betting by participants at any level will not be tolerated.
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