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eSports continues to grow in popularity: However challenges like match-fixing amplify the need for more regulatory bodies
eSports has grown at an impressive pace in recent years, and this rise has attracted the interest of globally recognized sponsors and sporting clubs. As the speed of internet has increased as have broadband connectivity levels, and the ease of playing games online has substantially increased. Sensing this opportunity brands like Intel and Red Bull as well as sporting clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and the Philadelphia 76ers have entered eSports as sponsors.
However as the popularity of eSports has increased, so have the challenges it faces. One notable example is the issue of match-fixing which especially came to the forefront in 2014 when a popular South Korean StarCraft player was found to have been colluding with match-fixing groups. A South Korean prosecution report from 2016 laid out a damning view of the eSports market and pointed out how match-fixing was taking place in an organized and professional manner, with the collusion of some players.
Challenges like this have increased pressure on governments to act and create regulatory bodies that can control and monitor eSports, as well hand out punishments to players who violate its code of conduct. Several countries like South Korea and the UK now have government authorized eSports federations that act as regulatory bodies. Further cooperation between these bodies at a global level has resulted in the formation of the International e-Sports Federation, whose purpose is to increase cohesion within the eSports world as well as to help it gain further traction around the globe. The emergence of these regulatory bodies is a huge step forward for the eSports world, and will help attract more attention towards it in the coming years.