FACEIT partners with Genius Sports to monitor esports betting

League operators ready their weapons against match-fixing.

Competitive gaming platform FACEIT wants to reduce the risk of fraudulent behavior in its esports league with big data. The company announced a partnership with sports data technology firm Genius Sports yesterday intended to tackle match-fixing and skin betting.

Genius Sports provides sports data to customers like the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, and the German Bundesliga. It has developed a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive analytics platform that’s set to be integrated with FACEIT’s European Championship Series (ECS) ahead of the league’s third season, starting April 14.

“Integrity has always been the core value for FACEIT and ECS,” said Michele Attisani, chief business officer and co-founder of FACEIT. “Genius Sports is the trusted and go-to platform for all major sports leagues, their unrivaled experience in this sector alongside the newly developed technology specifically designed for CS:GO makes them an integral partner for ECS as the league continues to grow.”

The FACEIT and Genius Sports partnership isn’t the first of its kind, however. On Oct. 8, 2015, sports data provider Sportradar partnered with ESL to monitor suspicious betting patterns as well. Sportradar and ESL are also members of the Esports Integrity Coalition, a group funded by ESL’s parent company Modern Times Group that aims to clean up esports.

Match-fixing and skin betting remain a largely unregulated environment in spite of efforts by lawmakers, regulators, and game publisher Valve to crack down on it.

FACEIT partnering with Genius Sports is one answer to try and safeguard the league’s competitive integrity from the face of fraud. FACEIT following in ESL’s footsteps is also a move to catch up with a competitor. But if these data tools do what they’re supposed to do, it’s a win for the esports industry, regardless.

Effective measures to counter match-fixing and betting fraud are always welcome.