Sportradar’s Head of Esports departs following internal review

03 April 2018


Last month, on 14th March 2018 to be exact, Rahul Sood, CEO of Unikrn made some allegations on Twitter against Sportradar’s Head of Esports, James Watson.

These allegations related to James’ activities on Unikrn’s own esports betting platform, and the company’s channel on Discord, the communication platform for gamers.

The following morning, Sportradar issued a response stating that the allegations were taken seriously and that an internal review was underway in order to assess the allegations made.

That review process is now complete and focused on the two core allegations:

  1. That James had placed bets with Unikrn; and
  2. That James had placed those bets using privileged information obtained in his position as Head of Esports at Betradar

The internal inquiry was ‘led by two of the most senior management in the company’.  Importantly, no evidence was found to suggest that James was using privileged information to bet, nor that he bet on any events where integrity concerns were raised by ESIC (Esports Integrity Coalition).  Furthermore, there was no evidence to suggest that he was engaged in any manipulation of pricing for the purposes of betting through any of his online activity.

That said, it was clear that James placed a series of low-level bets with Unikrn. Sportradar has a strict policy in relation to employees betting and maintains a blanket approach in a bid to uphold integrity standards. As a result the company has informed us that it has been mutually agreed that James will leave Sportradar with immediate effect. 

In addition, Ian Smith, the Commissioner of ESIC, conducted an independent assessment of Sportradar’s findings. Smith reportedly ‘concurred with the outlined conclusions’ and it’s clearly positive that a third party agreed with the findings.

Speaking to Esports Insider, Sportradar noted that it is business as usual at the firm’s London based esports division, but that they are of course in something of a transition period as they look to appoint a new Head of Esports. 

Esports Insider says: Sportradar has stuck to its guns and due to its positioning in the industry, it maintains a data partnership with ESL for instance, it has strict rules regarding employees gambling. The company will now be hunting both a Head of Esports in addition to the Esports Business Development position that already needed filling.