September 04, 2020

Esports Integrity Commission Opens Inquiry into Historical Spectator Bug Exploitation

On 2 September ESIC issued sanction outcomes against three coaches who utilised a bug in the CS:GO spectator mode in order to achieve an advantage (“Spectator Bug”). ESIC has since reviewed a large quantity of evidence and believes that it is in the best interest of the industry to open an inquiry into the potential exploitation of this bug as far back as 2016. In doing so, ESIC will contract the services of Michal Slowinski and Steve Dudenhoeffer (the discoverers of wrongful use of this exploit) to work with ESIC in the fulfilment of the inquiry.


What ESIC will be doing

ESIC believes that detection, exposure and punishment of any entity involved in cheating in esports is in the best interest of competitive integrity, and, ultimately, the interests of the industry.

After careful consideration of the volumes of material available to ESIC for review, we have reason to believe that exploitation of the Spectator Bug by other parties than those already sanctioned, may have existed historically. Accordingly, ESIC has decided to establish an inquiry into the exploitation of the Spectator Bug dating back to 2016.

The inquiry will be completed in the following manner (summarised for ease of comprehension, but more complex in reality):

  1. Analysis of approximately 25,000 demos pertaining to CS:GO games played between 2016 and 2020 (both through the use of AI and by visual inspection). Analysis will begin on 2020 demos progressing back in time to 2016 demos;
  2. Based on evidence found, ESIC will conclude on standardised sanctions which will apply to offending parties;
  3. Manual review of key suspect demos, determinations made by ESIC in accordance with standardized sanctions; and finally
  4. Public release of tranches of standardized sanctions on a monthly


Duration and Reporting

Due to the workload involved, ESIC estimates that the investigation will take approximately 8 months to complete (subject to additional complications that may arise during the investigative process). ESIC will issue a monthly report (if substantial determinations are required) or a quarterly report (if unsubstantial determinations are required).


Applicability of determinations issued as a result of the inquiry

As per all investigations conducted by ESIC, our determinations will have effect across all of our membership including ESL, DreamHack, BLAST, WePlay, Eden Esports, UMG, UCC, and more. ESIC’s appeals process will be available to any individual wanting to appeal a determination made to the Independent Disciplinary Panel.


Confession Period

ESIC recognizes that people sometimes make mistakes and regret their decisions. In ESIC’s view, wherever possible, it is important to work towards reform and rehabilitation of  offending parties into individuals who value competitive integrity and can recommence serving the CS:GO community. Accordingly, ESIC will opened a ‘Confession Period’ for any offending parties that want to come forward ahead of our investigation with an admission of wrongdoing. The Confession Period opens as of the date of this release and will close on the 13th of September 2020 at 23:00 CET.

Upon the assessment of an admission, and subject to the discretion of the Commissioner, ESIC may choose to apply a concession to any sanction that may apply to the offending party based on the presence and quality of the admission provided.

Admissions of guilt can be made directly to the commissioner by email:


Collaboration with

ESIC would like to thank for their support in this investigation. will be assisting ESIC by providing complete access to approximately 5TB of Demo footage, stored on their servers. Without this access, the investigation would require a considerable amount of additional resources to complete.’s support of our investigation is a clear indicator of their appreciation for competitive integrity in the CS:GO scene as well as their sensitivity to bad actors in the community.


Message to the CS:GO community

We appreciate the vocal support that we have seen of our work in protecting the scene from bad actors.  We understand that the past week of revelations has been tough for many people within the CS:GO community. Rest assured, ESIC is doing everything in its power to ensure that we uproot and remove bad actors for the benefit of the scene in the long term.


For any further enquiries relating to this matter, please contact us at



September 03, 2020

Esports Integrity Commission Update on MDL Match Fixing Investigation


Approximately eighteen months ago and on several occasions since, ESIC has received suspicious bet alerts through our global integrity monitoring framework which led us to establish an investigation into potential match-fixing activity in the MDL tournament series administered by one of our members, ESEA (a subsidiary operation of ESL). As we consider this matter to be of industry concern due to social media speculation, we have chosen to provide an update as we begin to finalise our investigation.



Nature of investigations into Match Fixing

Investigations into match-fixing are complex and require significant cooperation between a variety of international stakeholders comprising of betting operators, government bodies, law enforcement agencies, and industry stakeholders. Accordingly, as complexities are often not immediately resolvable, investigations into this sort of fraudulent activity take significant time, effort and resources to complete in an appropriate manner. Furthermore, as determinations in this category can often coincide with the prospect of criminal liability, ESIC takes additional steps to ensure that careful skill and attention has been given to all aspects of the investigative process.


ESIC’s Current Position on MDL Match Fixing Allegations

As of the date of this update, ESIC has conducted an extensive and ongoing investigation into the allegations of match-fixing against several parties over the past 18 months. In doing so, we have been liaising with relevant anti-corruption supporters in order to ascertain the validity of allegations by way of evidence gathering, analysis and assessment. We have also been using various investigative tools and contacts to link the bettors who placed the suspicious and unusual bets to the players and teams potentially involved in the match manipulation.

ESIC is now in the concluding stages of its investigation and will issue a formal statement relating to the investigation within four weeks of the date of this update (subject to complications that may arise in the finalization of our investigation).

As of the date of this update, ESIC is maintaining 15 ongoing investigations which we consider to be of significant concern to the industry.



ESIC would like to thank our Members and supporters for their patience while we have conducted our investigations. We are confident that our approach to this matter will lead to the correct outcome for the industry.


For any further enquiries relating to this matter, please contact us at


August 22, 2019

The Importance of Child Protection in esports


An important issue that the esports industry faces is child protection – there is a duty on everyone in esports to protect children from harm, although (taken as a whole across the industry) there does not currently appear to be a significant amount of resource dedicated specifically to doing so. It is however a particularly pressing challenge for stakeholders in esports to address, because of the number of children engaged in esports, the amount of activity that takes place online (which is often unsupervised, or very lightly supervised), and the fact that there is no governing body that has yet taken a firm lead in addressing the issue (meaning each organisation must actively address the issue itself).

A failure to adequately protect children from harm could have serious consequences, primarily of course as a direct result of the harm itself to individual children, but also in terms of consequential liability and reputational damage for the esports organisation(s) concerned. There have been a number of high profile examples of such failures very recently in traditional sports, and esports can take the opportunity to learn from those experiences (as well as the developed and sophisticated processes that currently exist in many sports in order to protect children).

Equally, having robust procedures in place can provide an esports organisation’s stakeholders, participants, customers and commercial partners with assurance that a safe environment exists for children, which can have a number of positive benefits (including driving participation).

ESIC wants to raise awareness of this important issue, and it has therefore – with assistance from ESIC Disciplinary Panel member, Richard Bush of Bird & Bird LLP (a senior lawyer with significant experience in the area of child protection) – put together this introductory guidance note to help ESIC’s members, and members of the wider esports community, to consider the steps they might take in order to protect children from harm in esports.


A ‘child’ is anyone who has not reached adulthood, the exact age of which varies between countries. However, generally, younger children are more vulnerable to harm than older children.

‘Harm’ is not a narrow concept, and can mean different things in different contexts. In a very broad sense however, it can be thought of as anything that adversely affects a child’s physical or mental health, or intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.

More specifically, it can be considered to include:

  • Sexual abuse – where a child is forced, persuaded or encouraged to take part in sexual activity, whether or not physical contact is involved (including grooming, where an individual seeks to befriend a child in order to take advantage of them for sexual purposes).
  • Physical abuse – where physical harm is inflicted on a child, including injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
  • Emotional abuse – where a child is emotionally mistreated, which includes such things as bullying, or humiliating or scaring a child (this could include instances of trolling, flaming, and cyberbullying).
  • Financial abuse – where a child is defrauded, exploited or otherwise placed under any financial pressure, including in the context of gambling.

Harm can also arise in the context of sexual relationships arising from the abuse of a position of trust, such as where an individual exploits a relationship in which they employ, care for, advise, mentor, supervise or coach a child (such a relationship can be considered harmful whether or not both parties are over the age of consent, which older children can be despite still being children).


Perhaps the very first step for any esports organisation seeking to prevent harm to children is to establish which aspects of its operation create a foreseeable risk of harm to children.

Most obviously, such risks arise – online or offline – where individuals (including other children) have direct and unsupervised access to children. In an esports context, obvious examples include the increasingly common practice of coaching young players, the team environment (where the team includes any member who is not yet an adult) and any online tournaments or other platforms that feature unsupervised communication or messaging (whether spoken or written).

Risk of harm to children also of course arises in the context of any gambling operations, with regulators expending significant efforts to ensure that children are protected from harm and exploitation, including by requiring (among other things) strong age verification checks. Similarly, esports organisations may also take the view – if not in any event required by national law(s) – that children should be prevented from accessing content that is not appropriate to their age group (for example, by restricting access to playing in, or viewing, age rated games – whether online or at physically staged events).


There are a number of steps esports organisations can take to reduce the risks to children that might arise from their operations. The most appropriate steps in each case will depend on the specific circumstances of the organisation (including its relevant activities and the age of children involved), but those steps include (individually or as part of a wider child protection policy):

  • Monitoring

Esports organisations can monitor activity taking place under their control, to ensure that children are not at risk of harm. Terms of use (and, where applicable, data protection/privacy policies) should be worded in order to permit such monitoring for these purposes.

  • Guidance and codes of conduct

Esports organisations can produce and publish information that clearly sets out conduct that will not be tolerated, as well as guidance as to how individuals should treat children. This information can be set out as part of wider acceptable use policies.

  • Rules and regulations

Esports organisations can introduce rules and regulations governing participation/access, which enable them to prevent access to individuals who might harm children. Such rules and regulations can also set out processes in order to address individual cases, providing for appropriate procedures and sanctions (from education as to best practice in less serious cases to lifetime bans in the most serious cases).

  • Clear reporting mechanisms

Esports organisations should ensure that there are clear ways in which individuals can report any suspicions they might have that any child is being harmed, or at risk of being harmed, e.g. a dedicated telephone line and email address, or online reporting system.

  • Reacting to reports

Esports organisations should ensure that they have procedures in place to quickly and effectively respond to any discovery or reports of harm, including support for anyone affected, and the ability to take any immediate steps necessary to deal appropriately with anyone accused of committing an act of harm. This should include sharing information with other esports stakeholders and third parties (to the extent lawfully possible) in order to prevent further harm.


ESIC is keen to encourage best practice in relation to child protection, and therefore welcomes any observations stakeholders may have in this area. ESIC will actively monitor any developments in relation to the protection of children, and may seek to take an active role in future.

In the meantime, ESIC strongly encourages its members and esports stakeholders more widely, to review their operations to identify any areas where a risk of harm to children might arise, and then consider whether those areas are adequately addressed, and if not, what steps should be taken.



July 16, 2018

The new ESIC rules come into effect in the League of Legends Superliga

The new ESIC rules come into effect in the League of Legends Superliga

Liga de Videojuegos Profesional (LVP) continues its quest for constant professionalisation in its competitions. In League of Legends’ Superliga Orange, the Official National LoL competition in Spain, a further step has been made with more solid and transparent rules based on the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) Programme that provides all possible safeguards to the participants.

ESIC is an international organization which LVP joined in early 2018 whose aim is to protect the integrity of esports. TO address this challenge, ESIC formulates codes, educates the participants in the esports ecosystem and resolves conflicts that might appear in esports competitions.

In this latest Superliga Orange Summer Split this new Programme came into effect. The Programme consists of three key components: the Code of Conduct, dealing with players behaviour (especially cheating), the Anticorruption code, dealing with the impact of betting on esports and the potential for match-fixing, and the Code of Ethics.

To make sure all the teams and players have the necessary knowledge of the Programme, they will have to complete ESIC’s Anti-corruption online tutorial, translated into Spanish thanks to LVP and which is available for all the players in world competitions linked to ESIC.

LVP has also introduced a new disciplinary procedure with the purpose of making public how investigations will work and how conflicts will be resolved if the arise in competition. Also, and for a greater transparency, match reports are published after each Superliga Orange match. Here you can see an example of one of them dealing with the 5th match day between KIYF and ASUS ROG Army.

ESIC offers the structure so that LVP takes a further step towards improving resolution of conflicts and cheating both in live events and in online competitions. This makes sure the League, the teams, players and the rest of the staff are connected under a solid new regulatory structure consolidating LVP as a world leader in esports governance and integrity.


For further information about ESIC, please contact:

Kezra Powell

General Manager


Phone:             +44 (0)7598232041


Twitter:            @ESIC_Official

The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) was established in 2016 to take responsibility for disruption, prevention, investigation and prosecution of all forms of cheating in esports, including, but not limited to, match manipulation and doping.

Learn more at


May 26, 2017

Esports Integrity Coalition Now Working With the Gambling Commission to Improve Esports Integrity

ESIC and the Gambling Commission have signed an information sharing Memorandum of Understating (MOU) that will see esports being considered alongside football, cricket and other mainstream sports in the detection and prevention of betting malpractice.

The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial
gambling in Great Britain. The Sports Betting Intelligence Unit (SBIU) is a unit within the commission
that deals with reports of betting integrity-related corruption. ESIC will now work closely with the
SBIU to identify potential irregularities within esports gambling.

This latest initiative follows a similar agreement that ESIC secured with the state of Nevada regarding
all esports tournaments held in Las Vegas, which is working hard to become the capital of esports
within the USA. ESIC will benefit from the intelligence available from both these pre-eminent
regulators and they, in turn will benefit from information gathered from ESIC’s members who are
not licenced in the UK or Nevada, but see betting activity across esports worldwide.

“This MOU is a significant step for ESIC and the esports community,” commented Ian Smith, ESIC
Commissioner. “The Gambling Commission has significant resources and powers that will be
invaluable in helping to combat any emergence of organised crime or serious fraud within our
rapidly growing sector.

As esports continues to grow successfully, so will the inevitable attempts to profit on the back of
that success through illegitimate means. This agreement will help protect all the individuals, teams
and companies working so hard to make esports successful for players and fans alike” Smith

ESIC will be issuing guidance notes to members in the coming weeks to explain the implications of
the MOU, and how it will improve the integrity of the esports gambling scene within the UK.

Richard Watson, Programme Director at the Gambling Commission adds, “Esports is a developing
sector that offers new challenges for the betting industry, with potential for further market growth.
This agreement demonstrates our commitment to supporting ESIC in addressing the potential
integrity risks, to help maintain public confidence in esports both as entertainment and for those
who wish to place bets on British licenced markets”.


January 24, 2017

GameCo, Inc., Leader In Video Game Gambling, Joins The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) to Promote Gaming Regulation with Esports and Casinos

The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) is proud to announce the addition of GameCo Inc., creator of the world’s first video game gambling machines (VGM™), to its membership.

As the market leader in bringing video games to casinos, GameCo is an important stakeholder in the wider context of esports integrity and their support for ESIC enabling, in particular, the forthcoming online player education initiative, is a vital pillar in the fight for integrity and against betting fraud in esports.

Esports Integrity Commissioner Ian Smith said, “We are delighted that GameCo has decided to join ESIC. GameCo operates at the juncture between esports and betting, and embracing integrity efforts in this early stage of its operations speaks to the company’s impeccable ethos and values and its determination to get things right from day one, not just for itself, but for the wider community in which it operates.”

GameCo Co-Founder and CEO, Blaine Graboyes added, “We developed the concept for video game gambling from our experience in producing esports events for major publishers. There’s a massive opportunity to evolve casinos into VIP destinations for gamers, and solid industry regulations and standards will be critical to this experience. GameCo looks forward to contributing to ESIC to advance our shared goals.”

GameCo, alongside ESIC’s Betting Partners, will support the ESIC anti-corruption education program which currently consists of face to face educational presentations and live interactive sessions with esports professional players, management and officials at major LAN events throughout the world. Also, in the first quarter of 2017, ESIC will be launching an interactive online tutorial for completion by players in their own time to ensure all esports participants have a foundation level of knowledge and awareness about match-fixing, betting fraud and other threats to esports integrity. Without the support of GameCo, the betting partners and Sportradar, this tutorial could not have been produced.

About ESIC:

The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) was established in 2016 to take responsibility for disruption, prevention, investigation and prosecution of all forms of cheating in esports, including, but not limited to, match manipulation and doping.

About GameCo, Inc.:
GameCo, Inc. is a pioneering new company uniting video games with casino floor gaming. GameCo is the creator of the world’s first video game gambling machines (VGM™), proprietary arcade-style cabinets that balance player skill with patented game design, while maintaining the same return to players as traditional slot machines.

GameCo’s VGM won the Silver Medal in the Best Slot Product category of the 16th Annual Global Gaming Business Gaming & Technology Awards. Founded by video game, casino gaming, technology, and live event veterans, GameCo brings together executives from Scientific Games, IGT, and AGS along with award-winning producers for game publishers such as Blizzard Entertainment, WarGaming, Ubisoft, DreamWorks, and The World Series Of Video Games.

GameCo is privately held and headquartered in New York City with additional offices in Las Vegas. For the latest GameCo news, visit and follow the company on Twitter at