FaceIt and ECS announced Wednesday a partnership with Genius Sports, a company that specializes in sports data technology, distribution and commercialization.
Genius Sports offers a variety of services that work with sports data, including analyzing live statistics, competition management and integrity services. Its approach includes working with the gambling industry and sharing data to analyze patterns that occur in betting. ECS’ partnership will be a step toward monitoring and regulating betting patterns for its Counter-Strike league in attempt to protect the integrity of its league.
“You need data to be able to quantify what’s happening in real time,” Genius Sports’ head of esports Moritz Maurer said Tuesday during a press event. “If you put this together, you can see patterns where things don’t look right, where some performance drops that correlated with spikes in wager activity in some markets. This is something we look into. And that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with it, but that is the kind of trigger (we monitor).”
Maurer compared esports to traditional sports in terms of betting, in the sense that an unregulated market can affect the integrity of games. Gambling in Counter-Strike has become a large topic of conversation between the skins gambling saga last summer and a permanent match fixing ban former iBuyPower players before that. Richard Lewis recently revealed evidence of potential match fixing in the semipro scene.
“When (the unregulated market) exists, the sport body has no control and no access to info,” Maurer said. “No visibility, no formal integration or relationship whatsoever with betting institutions. They’re in a weaker position than if they have regulated structure. So what we do at Genius with ECS is the same with hundreds other sports partners. We provide a structure to provide a direct engagement with regulated sports books.”
FaceIt co-founder Michele Attisani said the partnership will help monitor and maintain integrity in the league. Genius Sports already works with well-established traditional sports entities like the English Premier League and International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
The partnership also includes an educational seminar for teams and players about the potentially dubious situations they could find themselves in regarding gambling.
“The main thing is building awareness,” Maurer said. “In other sports, you have athletes who sometimes don’t necessarily understand exactly what the rules and regulations are in their code of conduct. If they don’t know that passing one type of information to an outside person who’s sort of mining them for information about an event coming up. ‘How’s the training been going?’”
“Once they give that information, they place their bets. They come back. ‘Here’s your money. Thanks for all the information.’ And (the players) realize they’ve been duped. Those sorts of instances are commonplace in sports. The first sort of line of defense is with the players. Educating them so they understand what they can and can’t do, and what people’s agendas might be.”
Cover photo courtesy of FaceIt/ECS