‘The Esports Integrity Coalition- ESIC‘ has called for all the esports stakeholders, governing bodies and licensed gambling operators to collaborate in tackling esports growing ‘betting integrity’ concerns.
ESIC’s call for collaboration comes as the integrity body details an ‘alarming rise’ in suspicious betting alerts gathered over the past 12-months.
The body announced that 74 suspicious betting alerts were recorded during 2018, which constituted in an increase of almost 75% from the previous year, with DOTA2 matches detailing a 100% in alerts.
Ian Smith, ESIC Integrity Commissioner states that the figures should serve as a ‘wakeup call’ for all esports and betting incumbents –
“The numbers of suspicious bet notifications being received by ESIC now are alarming. While we’re confident that most of the top tier competitions are operating to the highest standards of integrity, we’re deeply concerned with what is happening in the lower echelons of esports.”
“We are therefore today calling on game developers of the esports titles to join the other stakeholders and betting operators themselves in supporting additional integrity measures to tackle the issue.”
Smith and ESIC have set out a ‘plan of action’, inviting esports’ diverse stakeholders, including tournament organisers, licensed betting operators, integrity professionals, sponsors, team CEOs and developers to a ‘summit meeting’ in Malta tomorrow.
At the Malta summit, ESIC aims to agree on wholesale support from the industry and its partners, for an increased focus on integrity which will include;
• Improved funding for integrity issues; especially the hiring of a specialist investigator
• Enhanced player education
• The development of a common framework of standards for esports
• Collaboration on a crack-down on unregulated skins and unlicensed betting
Smith continued, “We have a clear focus on what needs to be done and how we need to do it. If we act quickly, and collectively, we can head this growing issue off at the pass.”
“We are delighted that 20 significant esports stakeholders are attending, but this now needs everyone involved; in particular we need all esports related game developers to start taking this issue seriously given that, to date, not one developer has contributed one dollar to our fight for competitive integrity in esports and we are in danger of being overwhelmed. No-one wants to see esports lose its credibility over an easily preventable threat to its integrity.”