Riot Games taking steps to improve LoL's competitive integrity

Melany M. July 31, 2019

Riot Games and Sportradar have announced a new partnership.

Under this new arrangement, the sports data and analytics firm will be monitoring global betting related to League of Legends tournaments organized by Riot Games. They have worked with the likes of the NBA, NFL, NHL, ITF and NASCAR. Esports tournament organizer ESL also retains their services.

“With legal sports betting expected to grow over the next several years, especially in the U.S., we are encouraged by Riot’s proactivity, as it looks to maintain and further establish its leadership position in the esports space,” Sportradar executive Andy Cunningham said.

The deal with the ESL allows Sportradar to process and distribute real-time match data. The firm uses its fraud detection system to monitor betting operators that work with ESL tournaments, ensuring transparency.

Match fixing in LoL sparks action?

 

Betting is an instrumental part of esports in recent years, with betting platforms being among the most common sponsors of organizations and events. The popularity of betting in esports has also led to concerns over competitive integrity.

Riot is getting involved after a trio of high-profile match-fixing scandals shook the competitive scene and led to the suspension of several players and team staff members.

Match fixing typically sees a person wager against one side of a contest and then attempt to influence the outcome in order to ensure a winning bet. With that in mind, leagues will monitor betting surrounding individual games in order to track if there is any unusual activity.

Riot is doing its due dilligence to both identify possible match fixing and strengthen its position to prevent it.

“This partnership with Sportradar enables us to protect our players, teams, and competitions and continue to deliver a best-in-class product to our fans,” said Doug Watson, head of esports insights at Riot Games.

As part of the deal, Riot Games will gain access to Sportradar’s Intelligence and Investigation Services Unit. Sportradar will take a closer look into Riot’s in-house policies and procedures in order to detect any possible integrity issues.