As esports continues to grow and develop, so do the opportunities for betting on it. Dota 2 has risen enormously in popularity over the last three years or so, and has witnessed an upsurge in interest in betting.
Many mainstream bookmakers have joined the offshore companies and esports specialists in offering markets on the big competitions, having identified just how potentially lucrative esports betting can be. Dota 2 betting integrity is a key concern of the sport, as it moves forward.
Keep it clean
As with any sport, though, the rise in interest in betting on Dota 2 raises some interesting, and potentially quite thorny, ethical questions. Esports is a still a baby, in world sporting terms, and has much to do yet before it can fulfil its full potential as a form of mass entertainment. This means that there are issues around the probity and legality of betting which it needs to resolve. Unlike other, more mainstream, sports, the potential for match fixing in Dota 2 events and other esports is large, simply due to the central part technology plays.
It is not that difficult to hack games and tweak them to favour certain teams and outcomes, something which would be difficult to replicate in a sport where participants are not limited to the cyber sphere.
Betting controversies continue to dog other sports too, even those which have in place a series of robust regulations and punishments for transgression. Former England international soccer star Joey Barton recently received an 18-month ban for betting on football, something which has ended his career. Even though the bets he placed were relatively small, and were not on his own team, such is the seriousness which football takes anything relating to potential match fixing and gambling, that his ban was severe.
There has been a similar situation in Australia’s premier rugby league competition, the NRL, recently too. Wests Tigers player Tim Simona had his career ended after being found guilty of betting on his own team and keeping the proceeds.
Structure is key
What these situations do is indicate to esports that it needs a framework to ensure that all betting is above board and does not affect matches. Players need to sign up to a code of conduct, and a close eye needs to be kept on betting patterns before matches and tournaments.
Cyber security measures need to be the best possible, using the very latest technology, to ensure that games cannot be manipulated by hackers. Making use of match fixing security by Betgenius and Betradar is certainly a good step in the right direction.
Security Guidelines are in place
There is nothing wrong with betting on esports games like Dota 2. Every sport in the world attracts some kind of gambling, and the betting industry can be a lucrative and very useful source of sponsorship. What is vital is that Dota 2 betting integrity, and that of other esports disciplines, is maintained according to a clear framework of regulations.
But there must be a clear framework of guidelines in place, accompanying robust security measures, and making sure that each of the players and coaches are members of ESIC. Gambling will not go away, and it will continue to exert increasing amounts of influence on the esports world. With careful management, the relationship between the betting industry and esports can benefit both parties.