Activision Blizzard has partnered with Sportradar to protect the integrity of its Call of Duty League and Overwatch League.
The multi-year deal will see Sportradar implement a “comprehensive” integrity in both leagues to battle betting-related corruption.
Sportradar will monitor the global betting activity of both leagues, reporting any potential breaches in an attempt to maintain integrity. It will also provide access to its specialised “intelligence and investigation services unit” and look to educate players on the risks and rules on betting.
Jason Hahn, Head of Strategic Initiatives at Activision Blizzard Esports, spoke on the partnership in a release: “Call of Duty League and Overwatch League have long taken steps to safeguard the integrity of matches, and working with Sportradar is a step to further reinforce the importance of fair play. As our esports activities continue to grow and as fans increasingly engage with wagering on matches, we need to ensure we are doing as much as we can to proactively protect our ecosystem.
Working with Sportradar, an industry leader, is important in protecting our players, teams and matches and giving fans the best experience they deserve. We look forward to establishing this relationship with Sportradar and continued expansion of our work together.”
Both Call of Duty League and Overwatch League have been approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board in the past few weeks, seemingly due to the lack of sports markets being available. The leagues have been approved for the following three wager types: head to head, match winner, and overall winner.
Andy Cunningham, Head of Integrity Services and League Relations, North America at Sportradar, added: “Integrity is a crucial component to the overall success of esports, especially in a time with more betting opportunities available and more tournaments taking place. We look forward to working with the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League to fortify their already powerful integrity measures.”
Riot Games tapped Sportradar for similar services for its global esports efforts in July last year.
Esports Insider says: This is a great move by Activision Blizzard, especially following the recent approvals by the Nevada GCB. One of the main reasons esports isn’t a mainstay in betting is due to the potential integrity issues that come along with gaming – this could, theoretically, please those in power and help to boost betting activity surrounding the leagues.