Team Kazakhstan have been disqualified from E-Frag.net's Counter-Strike World Championships after Gambit Gaming's Mikhail "Dosia" Stolyarov was found to be playing on Evgeniy "zLex" Kim's place during Team Kazakhstan's online qualifier match against France on Thursday.
According to E-Frag, following Kazakhstan's 3-2 victory over France, routine checks found that it was not zLex playing on his account during the match. In the course of E-Frag's investigation, they discovered that Dosia was playing on zLex's account, which goes against the tournament's rules.
"After further investigation and direct communication with the team captain and the players, it was admitted that the Russian Team Gambit player Mikhail 'Dosia' Stolyarov took zLex's place in this match," E-Frag said in their ruling.
While Dosia himself is Russian, two of his teammates on Gambit, Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev and Rustem "mou" Telepov were on the Kazakh national team.
The organization has issued a one-year ban to Team Kazakhstan and a two-year ban to all the players on the team, including mou, AdreN and Dosia. France will be advancing to to the LAN finals in Belgrade in Kazakhstan's place.
"This is of course in direct violation to our rules and will be punished with a ban of one year for the national team of Kazakhstan and a two year ban for the players in yesterday's team Kazakhstan lineup as well as a two year ban for DOSIA," E-Frag said in their ruling. "Team Kazakhstan will be immediately disqualified from The World Championships 2016 and the qualifying spot will go to Team France"
Following the ruling, Gambit eSports announced on Twitter they will be conducting their own internal investigation into the matter and will "severely" punish the three players involved if the allegations are proved true.
AdreN, mou and Dosia have played for the organization since January, taking first at the CIS Minor Championship 2016 in Columbus, coming in 5-8th at ESL One: Cologne 2016 and 7-8th at DreamHack Bucharest 2016.
Dosia has been on the Counter-Strike scene since 2009, placing first at StarLadder StarSeries V in 2013 with Virtus.pro, as well as the Acer Predator Masters Season 1 with HellRaisers in 2015.
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.