The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) has called upon the esports industry to work together in developing a framework which will subsequently tackle growing ‘betting integrity’ concerns.
The call for collaboration has occurred as a result of an ‘alarming rise’ in suspicious betting alerts generated over the last year, which is estimated to be a 75 per cent rise.
DOTA2 is reported to have seen a 100 per cent rise in alerts, while Warcraft 3 saw a 1100 per cent increase with 11 instances reported last year in comparison to 1 alert in 2017.
Ian Smith, ESIC Integrity Commissioner states that the figures should serve as a ‘wakeup call’ for the industry as a whole. He commented: “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.”
ESIC has committed to developing a ‘plan of action’ which will invite the industry’s stakeholders to tackle the issue. Invitees will include tournament organisers, licensed betting operators, integrity professionals, sponsors, team CEOs and developers.
At the consultation, ESIC aims to develop a framework of wholesale support from the industry and its partners, for an increased focus on integrity which will include strengthening the funding for integrity issues, especially the hiring of a specialist investigator; enhanced player education; the development of a common framework of standards for esports and 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.”