This week the ‘eSports IQ by Alex Fletcher‘ features the following content: >The match fixing plague continues; Deloitte joins the eSports numbers debate.
The match fixing plague continues
Competitive gaming continues to battle a potentially crippling nemesis, match fixing. After publisher of popular eSports title Counter- Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Valve Software, permanently banned 21 pro players, the storm continues. This time, Australian eSports organization, 24/7 eSports, dropped Vietnamese team, Skyred, over allegations of match fixing. There are two major issues; aside from the negative impact match fixing has on competitive gaming, at play here. Firstly, the cost of integrity is too low within eSports. Meaning, it’s far too easy for professionals – mostly very young adults – to be tempted by the allure of making small sums of money found in throwing matches. A reality attributed to, not only the age groups involved, but also the glaring lack of economic stability for eSport pros; which isn’t to say match fixing doesn’t affect competitive scenes with better prospects, but that it thrives in spaces where individuals are less financially solvent.
Secondly, 24/7 eSports’ response speaks to the black hole in investigative, resolution and punitive measures for competitive gaming. Skyred was dropped without sustainable proof of match fixing. A seemingly proactive move, given that no contract was signed, but also one that is hardly transparent. Especially, with a lack of standards for evaluating evidence, adjudicating guilt/innocence and informing the involved parties. As it stands, these could very well turn out to be unfounded allegations. And even if they are correct, their magnitude deserves a due process of some variety.
Deloitte joins the eSports numbers debate
International consulting firm, Deloitte, recently released a study titled, “eSports: bigger and smaller than you think.” The study contains some sobering, but valuable, prognostications about the state of the eSports industry. Namely, “Deloitte Global does not believe that there is a direct correlation between online video gaming success and eSports,” in other words, there is a distinction to be made between video game entertainment and eSports. This is a crucial reality that oftentimes escapes mainstream understanding of competitive gaming.
As confusing as it may sound, people watching other people play video games are not a singular monolith. The report goes on to say, “The most popular online content is not about watching elite gamers competing. Instead, the content is about entertainment.” And Deloitte is absolutely correct in separating notable video game entertainers, who rake in upwards of millions per year from their popularity on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, from the notion of competitive video gaming. However, Deloitte is missing the larger trend which will cause a significant convergence between the two, and propel the overall popularity of eSports. Stay tuned for my in-depth analysis on this topic.
- Valve makes CS:GO match-fixing bans permanent – pcgamer.com
- CS:GO Players Dropped From Esports Team Following Match-Fixing Allegations – kotaku.com
- eSports: Bigger and smaller than you think – deloitte.com
About ‘eSports IQ’
The ‘eSports IQ’ is compiled by Alex Fletcher, the founder and president of Entiva Group, LLC, and features insights on the latest emerging trends in eSports. By curating invaluable content from a wide range of information sources you get the leading edge in the business of eSports. Increase your eSports iQ today by signing up for the eSports IQ newsletter!
Image source: eslgaming.com, Photographer: Helena Kristiannson