The ESIC is one of the most reputable associations in the Esports industry and helps to ensure that the industry is able to weed out any forms of cheating or foul play and hold themselves accountable, in order to ensure that the Esports industry retains its integrity and upholds its reputation.
As such, the ESIC often has to get involved in cases where there may be accusations and allegations of cheating against a certain player or team, or sometimes in instances where betting companies or gambling sites have been found to be in violation of the ESIC’s Codes.
So if you want to know more about the ESIC’s disciplinary panel, then read on to find out more.
Who Does The Panel Consist Of?
According to the ESIC’s disciplinary procedure code, the panel is composed of independent individuals who are legally experienced and come from various different jurisdictions.
These individuals also have to recuse themselves from a case if the panel believes that a conflict of interest lies between a panel member and a case.
To the ESIC, “independent” in this instance means that members are in no way agents, employees, officers, or commercially connected to the parties within a case at any proceedings as a result of the relevant Code or Policy.
This includes the accused/defendant, the prosecuting party, or the defendant’s advocates, the publisher of a game, event, or league in which the offence was committed, the team of the accused, or any of the team, corporation, or individuals which are viewed as the victim in the case.
As for the Appeals Panel, members of the panel should have no connection whatsoever to those who are appealing the decision.
If no panel member is able to remain on the panel then the Chairman of the ESIC panel is able to appoint a new member temporarily via consultation with both parties, and at the final discretion of both the ESIC panel and the Chairman.
If a code or policy calls for the appointment of a panel in a case, then the three members of this panel are made up of those one the ESIC panel, and are selected as such:
The chairperson of the panel is selected for appointment by the Chairman of the ESIC, and yes, they are allowed to appoint themselves for this position if they feel it is in the best interests of the ESIC and the case in general.
The accused party is allowed to nominate one member of the panel.
Finally, the last member is appointed by the Integrity Commissioner.
In the eyes of the ESIC, this ensures that each panel is constructed fairly and is best suited to represent the ESIC in such cases.
The procedure is a rather complex process, but it involves the process of a hearing, in which the defendant is able to make their case against the accusation in front of the panel, with evidence being provided by both the accused and the accuser in order to determine whether or not the accused is guilty or not.
Upon the hearing ending, the panel then the Integrity Commissioner must decide whether more evidence is required or whether more time is needed in order to determine the outcome of the hearing.
If further time is required, then the hearing is adjourned as long as the Commissioner sees appropriate, and then resumes once they’re ready.
Once the hearing has concluded, the Integrity Commissioner then has 48 hours to come to a decision, and then must set out whether the defendant is to be sanctioned (whether this is a fine, suspension, or combination of the two), the date that any form of suspension will start and finish, and whether or not they are able to appeal this decision.
Appeals are available to those who have been found guilty of an offence which is regarded a level 2 offence or higher, and any decision to appeal must be made to the Integrity Commissioner within 48 hours of them providing receipt of their decision.
From this, the ESIC will appoint an appeal panel, who then have to repeat the initial trial from the beginning, with the previous decision having no bearing over the appeal panel’s decision whatsoever.
The appeal panel also gets to increase or decrease, amend or otherwise substitute the new decision as they see appropriate, but it must still remain in line with the relevant code or policy that the guilty party was in violation of.
Once the appeal process is complete, then the decision is final and the guilty party must accept whatever decision is made by the new panel.
If the appealing party is believed to be acting in an unserious manner or in general bad faith, then the appeal panel has the power to demand that the guilty party covers some or all of the costs of the appeal proceedings as punishment.
The ESIC also has a rigid anti-corruption (see also ‘What Is The ESIC Anti-Corruption Code?‘) process to prevent any form of corruption from seeping its way into the Esports industry or community, therefore protecting its reputation.
It begins with the Alert process, which is where a report is made to the ESIC about possible corruption.
Typically, this report comes from either; the media, sportraders, a report, whistleblowers, or the bookmakers and gambling association.
This is then taken up by the ESIC Integrity Commissioner, who liaisons with the member league or publisher. Then the investigation begins.
The investigation is aided by some of the following; participants, game data, law enforcement, intelligence database, the source of the alert, or the gambling and bookmakers commission.
The decision is then made, whether it’s a warning or a prosecution.
From which the independent panel is then able to liaison with the member league or publisher again for help.