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Road to ICE 2024: Match fixing an ongoing issue for esports

| By Nick Brown
On the road to ICE, iGB will prep you for the biggest show of 2024 with this new series covering the latest developments since 2023's show.
Road to ICE Esports

Just like sports in the real world, match fixing can prove a real problem in the online version too.

As explained to iGB by Ian Smith, the integrity commissioner of the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC), match fixing in esports is “relatively high”. This is because of the disparity in tournament prizes and the money offered for losing matches.

Smith says they have to rely on players’ “simple values and morality” to ignore any attempts by outsiders to fix matches. He called for further measures to be put in place to try and combat match fixing issues.

Tackling esports match fixing

In September, a professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) player was suspended by ESIC for betting on matches he was involved in.

A Singaporean esports player was also jailed for four months in May. This was after throwing a game of Valorant in a match-fixing scheme.

In July, ESIC announced a partnership with Victoria police in Australia to tackle match fixing in the professional esports sector.

The agreement allows Victoria police’s Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit to receive real-time alerts from ESIC on suspicious betting activity.

That link with Victoria police followed in the wake of ESIC entering a new anti-corruption education partnership with esports betting operator GG.bet.

The deal sees GG.bet support ESIC with the development of an Anti-Corruption Tutorial. It aims to educate players on ethical behaviour in the esports industry.

ESIC also unveiled an “Anti-Cheat Partnership” this year, working alongside global games protection and anti-piracy technology provider Denuvo by Irdeto.

There is still much work to be done however. This is especially the case given the younger demographic of esports players. Inevitably, this makes them particularly vulnerable targets for criminals.

Despite its attempts to act as a regulator in the esports world, ESIC is also not without fault.

ESIC has come under fire on a number of occasions. Arguably, much of the criticism has been over its competence and its lack of transparency. The scepticism that dearth of trust has led to is proving far from helpful in regards to esports’ match-fixing problem.

Match fixing is a taboo subject in esports, but it could continue to be a stain on the entire industry’s credibility, as well as a hurdle for growth, should it continue in 2024.

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