Cheating in esports is a real concern and the ESIC has established the Anti-Corruption Code to try and eliminate and protect against a variety of offenses. But what is the Anti-Corruption Code?
What offenses does it outline and what steps does it take to protect esports?
In this article, we will look at it in more detail.
What Is The ESIC?
The Esports Integrity Commission (see also ‘Everything You Need To Know About The Esports Integrity Commission‘) was established in 2016 as a not-for-profit association. It aims to guard the integrity of esports by investigating and prosecuting any cheating committed by players, teams, or coaches.
This includes hacking, match manipulating, and doping.
To do this, the ESIC has several different codes. They are:
- Code of Ethics (see also ‘What Is The ESIC Code Of Ethics?‘)
- Code of Conduct
- Anti-Corruption Code
- Anti-Doping Code
Each code deals with a different area of esports that ESIC (see also ‘Everything You Need To Know About The ESIC Disciplinary Panel‘) is trying to protect. Our focus for this article is the Anti-Corruption Code.
The Anti-Corruption Code was created to ensure that all matches are played using the same game software and that the results of the matches are not decided until each match is played.
This means that every match is played fairly between players or teams and that there are no unfair advantages or external factors that will influence the result.
It especially covers betting on esports. The Anti-Corruption Code exists to prevent corrupt betting practices that could lead to players taking bribes to fix matches.
Offenses Under the Anti-Corruption Code
Several behaviors are considered offenses under the Anti-Corruption Code. These include attempting to fix or influence the result or progress of a match by deliberately not performing as well as a player can.
A similar offense is manipulating a player’s performance so that a certain condition or incident is met so that people can bet (see also ‘Is It Legal To Bet On Esports?‘) and profit.
For example, a player can be bribed to miss a shot in a certain minute of the match so that people can bet on this situation and win.
Any players that seek or agree to bribes or anyone that offers bribes are considered to have broken the Anti-Corruption Code. As are any players, teams, and officials that place bets on any match that they have significant involvement in.
It is also a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code to use any inside information for betting purposes. This also expands to anyone who shares insider information with a third party while knowing that the information could be used for betting.
It is also considered a breach to try and solicit this type of information from participants.
As well as offering and accepting money, these rules also cover offering and accepting gifts, hospitality, and other benefits. If any players are approached to throw matches or for insider information and they don’t disclose this to the ESIC, this is also considered a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code.
Any allegation of suspicion of the Anti-Corruption Code being breached should be referred for investigation. The ESIC expects that any parties involved will fully cooperate with the investigation.
This can include being present for interviews or providing information in writing, as well as copies of records such as phone logs, bank statements, or the contents of a hard drive.
Any information provided will be treated as confidential by the ESIC and will only be disclosed to third parties if deemed necessary.
If during the investigation the ESIC feels there is a case to answer to, then the alleged party will be sent a written notice confirming this. The Notice of Charge will detail the specific offense(s), alleged acts, and the possible consequences if the Anti-Corruption Code breach is confirmed.
The case is then heard before an Anti-Corruption Tribunal to determine whether any breach occurred and what the punishment should be.
The alleged party can exercise their right to a hearing before this Tribunal if they wish. Their request should be submitted in writing with details of their response to the charge(s.)
If the result of the Anti-Corruption Tribunal is that the breach is admitted by the alleged party or upheld by the Tribunal, then a sanction will be applied.
The Tribunal will take into account the seriousness of the breach and any mitigating or relevant circumstances before deciding on the sanction.
For corruption breaches, the sanction can result in a suspension from at least two ESIC events or a lifetime ban. For betting breaches, the minimum sanction is to be suspended from two events and a maximum of two years.
If the charge is the misuse of insider information, there is no minimum period of suspension but there is a maximum duration of three years.
Other breaches can result in either a suspension from a minimum of two events for a maximum of five years or no minimum suspension.
Both the ESIC and the alleged party have the right to challenge any ruling made by the Anti-Corruption Tribunal.
This includes appeals against decisions such as the imposition of sanctions, provisional suspensions not being lifted, and the dismissal of charges due to procedural or jurisdictional reasons.
While the appeal is being processed, the original decision and sanctions remain in place.
Appeals must be filed within 21 days of the written decision from the Tribunal.
In general, investigations are not made public unless there is a necessary reason. This applies to both the ESIC, alleged party, and anyone else involved.
If it is decided that a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code has occurred, then the decision might be made public and is at the discretion of the ESIC. If the alleged party has been exonerated, then the result will only be made public with their permission.
The ESIC Anti-Corruption Code relates to match-fixing, betting, and the trading of insider information. It aims to prevent these offenses from occurring and if they do, sets out the rules for investigation and sanctions.
We hope this article helped explain the Anti-Corruption Code.