As a result, James “PhantomL0rd” Varga – the seventh biggest streamer on Twitch – has had his channel closed, following accusations that he rigged CS:GO gambling rolls to advertise a betting site that he owned (which he never admitted to owning).
PhantomL0rd now joins YouTube stars Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Tom “Syndicate” Cassell on a growing list of streamers that nobody will ever trust again.
Martin and Cassell of course, were the catalyst for Valve’s crackdown, though it seems those guys have been able to continue making videos with no consequences.
Investigative YouTuber Richard Lewis was sent a number of incriminating Skype logs by a hacker, all of which seem to suggest that PhantomL0rd at least part-owns a website called CS:GO Shuffle.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also evidence that strongly implies he was fed roll percentages by the co-owner and programmer of the site as he bet.
You can watch Lewis’ video below, in which he extensively covers a number of conversations between PhantomL0rd and his programmer.
PhantomL0rd has yet to respond to these allegations, though Lewis confirms in the above video that he’s reached out in an attempt to get the Twitch streamer to explain himself.
For its part, Valve continues to issue legal letters to videogame gambling websites associated with its games, such as CSGO Lotto, all of which essentially encourage gamers (kids included) to bet skins that can very easily be exchanged for actual money.
You can read Valve’s letter below.
It might be a grey area, but the whole thing is clearly very sketchy – I’d bet anything that more YouTubers and streamers will be exposed before this scandal is done.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.