The Gold Standard has been established by ESIC in response to the distinct integrity challenges associated with hosting esports matches specifically tailored for offering betting products to betting operators and, from there, to betting customers. Any circumstances in which players are employed to compete against one another to create markets for wagering on that competition, present the tournament organiser with a myriad of potential issues related to the integrity of that competition.
Competitive integrity is fundamental to the credibility and commercial success of the product, but it is easy to see how bettors might be incentivised to try and persuade players to manipulate match outcomes to guarantee certain bets winning. The Gold Standard for managing these matches provides a series of measures that aim to deter and prevent such potential efforts to manipulate outcomes and ensure these matches have the highest level of competitive integrity possible. These measures range from tight contractual obligations and rules for the physical environment, data management, personal and equipment security, anti-cheat measures, oversight, training, and education.
The Gold Standard will only be awarded to tournament organisers of this sort of product that comply with various measures and rules that make up the standard as audited and certified by ESIC. The Gold Standard is a Living Concept, subject to updates and amendment as the Holders and ESIC gain experience and insight into the practical implementation and rollout of this type of betting product. In addition, ESIC will learn from the investigation and prosecutions of breaches of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code by players or other staff employed or engaged by the Gold Standard Holders, as well as tournament organisers of similar products who do not meet the Gold Standard.
Holders of the Gold Standard are subject to annual review to ensure the Standard is being upheld and ESIC may remove the accreditation if there is substantial failure to implement or abide by any element of the Gold Standard.