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South Korean bill could put account boosters in jail

A South Korean bill would make account boosting a criminal act punishable by putting account boosters in jail.
A South Korean bill would make account boosting a criminal act punishable by jail.

A member of the Korean parliament put forth an initiative that would make video game account boosting a criminal offense punishable with jail time and a hefty fine.

Representative Lee Dong-sub has championed a new method to curb boosting by giving the act a heavy criminal burden, writes Sports Seoul’s Kim Jin-wook. The proposed law would outlaw any act “that enables other players to get higher points or better results in ways that are neither offered nor approved by the game developers for profit.” The penalty could put the offender in prison up to two years and would come with a fine of up to 20 million won ($17,900).

The term “boosting” refers to players paying a boosting service provider with either in-game currency or real money to play on their accounts in order to earn a higher competitive rating for that account. Games such as League of Legends and Overwatch rely on the Match Make Rating to create a fair and balanced competitive experience, and according to representative Lee, boosting is one of the three things that is a large disservice to esports.

“There are three major factors that eat away at the esports industry,” he said. “Those are illegal hacking programs, unsanctioned private servers, and boosters for profit. The first two will be properly regulated beginning at the end of this month with the bills I proposed, and now it is time to deal with boosters.”

Many for-profit boosters exist in Korea, with search engines such as Naver or Google still offering a myriad of choices across all manner of games that have an online ranking system.


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