Esports Championship Series Boosts CS:GO Game Integrity With New Deal

Written By Joss Wood on April 5, 2017 - Last Updated on January 22, 2018

[toc]The Esports Championship Series will shortly benefit from a unique CS:GO analytics platform following a deal between ECS founder FACEIT and Genius Sports.

The new platform “provides real-time data driven predictions” and will improve the way that data and statistics will increase engagement with ECS fans.

Alongside the new platform, ECS will use the Genius Sports’ eSports Bet Monitoring System to monitor betting markets in real-time.

This will decrease the risks of match-fixing and alert the organizers to any unusual patterns in the betting market. The enhanced level of match integrity will encourage more betting operators to add ECS to the list of events they cover.

Esports betting bookmakers will benefit from the enhanced integrity

The benefits of the new system will extend beyond the fans to the bookmakers offering esports betting on ECS tournaments. Genius explained:

“The platform transforms in-game data into split-second predictive outcomes and performance assessments of teams and players. Simultaneously, fan engagement and betting activity are measured across a vast array of bookmakers, providing the data visibility required to identify suspicious patterns in wagering liquidity, a critical measure for the prevention of match-fixing.”

Last year’s Grand Finals of the ECS took place at London’s SSE Arena, Wembley. The largest esports prize pool ever offered in the UK was up for grabs there.

The $3.5 million prize pool not only attracted a large audience. It also spurred betting operators such as Pinnacle to offer wagers on the event.

The enhanced integrity measures should ensure that the 2017 Grand Final draws a much larger betting handle.

Genius Sports CEO Mark Locke said:

“We are incredibly excited to partner with FACEIT and ECS with our ground-breaking eSports technology to help increase fan engagement, as well as help ensure players and fans are treated to a fair and transparent game, and ECS league representatives are equipped with information and tools necessary to maintain a clean, honest and exhilarating contest.”

League organizers are aware of the need for more esports integrity measures

The issue of esports integrity really came to the fore in 2016. Several organizing or governing bodies launched, with the issue high on their agenda.

The Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) places integrity at the center of its objectives. But the World eSports Association and World eSports Council also recognize the importance of ensuring match fairness.

ESL was one of the first major esports tournament organizers to adopt a technical solution to match integrity.

In October 2015, it signed a deal with Sportradar. That agreement provides data and gives access to Sportradar’s eSports Fraud Detection System.

Last July, Genius Sports’ Head of Esports Moritz Maurer explained that the average prize pool for many esports competitions is tiny in comparison to the total amount of money wagered on the event.

Maurer said:

“We see this as very problematic for competitions that have a very small or even no monetary prize pool and the participating teams are often newly formed rosters. The betting volume in comparison with the incentive to win the entire tournament is at a concerning ratio.”

The FACEIT, ECS deal with Genius is a significant step in implementing a solution that addresses these concerns.

Chief Business Officer and Co-founder of FACEIT Michele Attisani commented:

“Integrity has always been the core value for FACEIT and ECS. We are very aware of the challenges all leagues face as the industry grows and we felt this was a logical next step to safeguard our fans and stakeholders. Genius Sports is the trusted and go-to platform for all major sports leagues, their unrivalled experience in this sector alongside the newly developed technology specifically designed for CS:GO makes them an integral partner for ECS as the league continues to grow.”

The deal has potential to extend to other esports leagues

FACEIT also provides the platform for the Turner ELEAGUE. It is also partnered with Microsoft in its new Xbox Live Tournaments Platform.

As more tournaments recognize the need for technical solutions to match integrity, it seems inevitable that the market will grow.

Genius Sports has data and integrity solutions in use in traditional sports including English Premier League and Italian LaLiga soccer. It has built a strong base in esports.

Given the stunning growth trajectory of esports, Genius Sports is well poised to enjoy the trend.

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Joss Wood

Joss Wood holds an English degree from the University of Birmingham and also earned a master’s degree in organizational development from the University of Manchester. Joss has a special focus on the international online gambling market, though he also writes extensively on US regulated markets, sports betting, and esports betting.

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