The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) have handed out 12-month bans to three individuals that were caught cheating in the ESL Mobile Open Legends Of Runeterra (Ladder 2) tournament a while back.
The commission was first alerted to potential wrongdoing by ESL Asia, after they reported that a number of participants had seen some “abonormal progression’ up the ladders during the tournament.
A subsequent investigation by ESIC focused on five accounts. Three of those accounts were held by one player called Cuticini. Along with two other players, Le Hiep and DiaComSuon, ESIC found that the three players had colluded together to cheat in the tournament by boosting.
Cuticini operated the two fake accounts under the profile names MUPBestsolo and Tran Huyen.
The 12-month ban began on June 16th 2021 and will be applied across all tournaments that involve ESIC members. This means that any tournaments organised by the likes of BLAST, LVP, WePlay, DreamHack and ESL will be off-limits to the three players for the next year.
ESIC has also requested that any tournament organisers that are not yet part of the ESIC group also honour these bans, which means that the three players may struggle to find any Legends Of Runeterra tournaments to compete in over the remainder of the year.
Following the announcement of the bans for the three individuals, ESIC stated:
“ESIC believes that an effective integrity framework assesses the veracity of competitive integrity on all levels of esports competition. This comes from ESIC’s firm belief that the competitive integrity of esports is of central importance to the maintenance of its commercial longevity and viability.”
“The presence of any form of match-manipulation or corrupt behavior is of serious concern to the safety of youth who form a considerable proportion of participants in the industry globally. Accordingly, it is imperative that esports stakeholders take an aggressive stance against any form of corruption in competitive integrity.”
What Is Boosting?
In Legends of Runeterra esports, boosting is when a player artificially enhances the strength of their hand to allow them to win games more easily. By using fake accounts and colluding together, it is possible for players to enhance their hands and win more games, thus improve their performance in Legends of Runeterra tournaments.
Of course, there are more implications here than simply the integrity of the game. If you have indulged in some Legends of Runterra betting and your game is affected by players cheating in such a way, then of course you are not going to be as keen to place a new Legends of Runeterra bet in the future.
It also makes a mockery of the game for players that have spent the time and effort to develop their decks fairly and to earn their right to compete at the highest levels. These players have earned the Legends of Runeterra best decks through hard work and perseverance, and their efforts are diminished greatly by people who cheat their way to success.
It remains to be seen whether these three players remain active in Legends of Runeterra beyond their ban or focus their attention on other esports.
If they do, then they can be sure that tournament organisers and ESIC will be watching very closely.