EiG – Ensuring esports betting integrity is all about the data

In any discussion about esports betting at a conference these days, the shadow of integrity is always lurks close by. EiG last week was no different and a one hour panel was dedicated to the topic of esports betting integrity at the Berlin igaming conference. man-475559_1280

Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) Commissioner Ian Smith sat on the panel alongside Victor Martyn, the CEO and Founder of GosuGamers, Jens Hilgers CEO at Dojo Madness and Pavol Krasnovksy, CEO of RTSmunity.

ESIC is a relatively newly formed coalition of stakeholders across esports including ESL, Dreamhack and more and has the ambitious aim of becoming the ‘recognised  guardian of sporting integrity’.

Of regulated esports betting Smith said: “Of course what affects the betting operators more is cheating to lose. We work closely with Sportradar and monitor the markets. What we’ve found is that more often than not, it’s the bookmaker that has got it wrong.

“This is a highly teched up community that know their sports. Far more so than what I’ve witnessed in the traditional sports communities, and if you slip up setting the odds as a bookmaker, they’ll jump on it. That is why we see anomalies.”

“My view is simple. There are 3 certainties in esports. One, it’s going to grow and it’s going to grow exponentially. Two, almost in parallel there will be a growth in esports betting and the their certainty is wherever there is a market there is somebody trying to manipulate it. My job is to make their success rate as low as possible.”

“We are in the process of establishing a relationship with ESSA, and we have good relations with the main bookmakers offering esports odds.”

Pavol Krasnovsky, whose company RTSmunity delivered a demo on live odds for Overwatch at EiG, spoke about the amount of data within esports compared to traditional sports. He said that if esports players want to cheat, then all of their decisions are stored as for every micro decision a player makes there’s a line of code.

He stated that RTSmunity is working alongside the data science department of a university in the Czech Republic in a bit to improve and increase their understanding of the games with a view to finding a solution to demonstrate suspicious activity by players during games. Krasnovsky stated that by coupling this with information on bets placed and patterns from bookmakers they should be able to find incidences of cheating.

Smith backed this assessment up that it would make for good evidence, if for instance a player that usually gets a high percentage of kills or head shots for instance, drops dramatically one game and this incidence occurs in parallel with betting on that result.

Esports Insider says: Many within the betting community are nervous around esports due to the fear of integrity issues, that is more to say due to a poor understanding of esports in general. Integrity issues are arguably no worse than in traditional sports, and with the great work being done by non profit organisation ESIC they should only lessen in future.