Ian Smith – ESIC – Competitive integrity #ESILondon

13 September 2018


The Esports Integrity Coalition was created with a view to becoming the “guardians” of integrity in the esports space, enforcing moral standards throughout in relation to prevention, investigation and prosecution of all forms of cheating such as match manipulation and doping. Members of the coalition agree to specific principles set forth in order to keep the playing field level, and fair for all.

Since its formation, ESIC has welcome various members including ESL, LVP, Sportradar, DreamHack, Intel, Esports Pools, NODWIN Gaming, Denuvo,  GG Esports, and Rivalry.gg.

In 2017 ESIC released a survey focused on the appropriate sanctions for those caught cheating in esports. From that survey, both DreamHack and ESL changed its sanctions along with lifting the indefinite ban on ex-IBUYPOWER CS:GO players.

Investigations and enforcement from partners with the ESIC are important in maintaining the stability of esports as it continues to evolve throughout the years.

Ian Smith, Commissioner at ESIC will be appearing at ESI London, moderating a panel focused on esports franchising and speaking on a panel about the moral standards and legality of loot box gambling. We spoke to Ian about the necessity for organizations like ESIC and the value of events like ESI London.

Ian Smith, Commissioner, ESIC

ESI: How long have you been in esports and what appealed you to get involved? 

Ian: Just over 3 years now – I was asked in the summer of 2015 to do an integrity threat assessment and everything just flowed from there – it’s been a great journey so far!

Esports Insider: Which sessions are you involved in at ESI London?

Ian Smith: I’m moderating a panel on the 19th debating the merits or demerits of a franchise model for esports leagues, and on the 20th I’m on a panel looking at the issues around loot boxes.

Franchised leagues in esports, yay or nay?

Are franchised leagues beneficial to the esports ecosystem as a whole right now? What are the pros and cons? Or is the open system a better option for the many?


  • Michal ‘Carmac’ Blicharz – Vice President of Pro Gaming – ESL
  • Tomi Kovanen – General Manager CS:GO and Business Development – Immortals LLC

Moderator :

Ian Smith – Commissioner – ESIC

Do loot crates constitute gambling?

Just how far can we stretch the term ‘gambling’? With loot crates (or boxes) now a game developer monetisation favourite, they have become a hot potato for both the mainstream media and now regulators alike in recent times. But do they constitute gambling, or we are taking this definition a little far? In this debate, we’ll hopefully find some answers, or at least, some strongly worded opinions.


  • Jonathan Tilbury – NSE – Executive Director
  • Ben Haden – Programme Director, Insight – UKGC
  • Sophie Goosens – Counsel – Reed Smith
  • Ian Smith – Commissioner – ESIC


Dr. Brett Abarbanel – Director of Research, International Gaming Institute – University of Nevada, Las Vegas

“For me, the overlap with the non-endemic betting operator that is particularly attractive.”

ESI: What are you looking forward to most about the event? 

Ian: It’s a great gathering of people from all over the esports industry. For me, the overlap with the non-endemic betting operator that is particularly attractive.

ESI: How beneficial are these events for you and what do you hope to take away from them?

Ian: These events are all about relationships for me – meeting people, swapping ideas and making connections.

ESI: What are your personal ambitions in esports? 

Ian: To unite all tournament organisers and leagues under one Anti-Corruption Code, so the whole industry is aligned with competitive integrity with a healthy relationship with betting on esports.

Ian Smith, Commissioner of the Esports Integrity Coalition, will be speaking at ESI London – the biggest esports conference of the year. The event runs from September 18-20th but it’s not too late to book your tickets – see below!

Ready to book your ticket? You can do so here!