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Integrity alliance formed for burgeoning esports sector

A new integrity alliance has today (Tuesday) been formed to uphold the transparency of esports.

The non-profit esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) will seek to “provide an overarching integrity function for professional esports” and become “the recognised guardian of the integrity of esports”, the body said in a statement.

ESIC will be responsible for governing any match manipulation or doping that may take place during professional esports competitions. The body will be open to all professional esports stakeholders, such as tournament organisers, platforms, game publishers and regulated bookmakers.

ESIC members will have the final say on policies and projects. ESIC’s membership and partner roster currently includes ESL, Dreamhack, Intel, Rainbow6, Sportradar, Unikrn, Betway, Plantronics and Sheridans.

ESIC has also created a programme for acceptance and implementation by professional esports stakeholders, which will be known as ESIC Programme. The programme will comprise a Participation Code of Conduct, an Anti-Corruption Code, an Anti-Doping Policy and an Independent Disciplinary Procedure.

Ian Smith, who has been appointed as the first esports integrity commissioner, said: “It has been eye-opening and a privilege to work in esports these past nine months and to have gained sufficient trust within the industry to be appointed the first integrity commissioner. I have spent the last 20 years working across a range of sports, involved heavily in the protection of their integrity, so I am looking forward to applying all those insights and experience to the esports ecosystem.

“There are many challenges ahead, but it is to esports’ credit that the industry is taking these steps in anticipation of a foreseeable problem, rather than in reaction to a crisis, which is the route taken by most traditional sports to date.”

ESIC said its focus would now turn to securing membership agreements with stakeholders, and the implementation of the aforementioned ESIC Programme.

The body will also continue to educate competitors on its anti-corruption policy, and monitor suspicious betting patterns in esports in cooperation with sports and betting-related services company Sportradar.