The eSports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) has officially opened its doors in the UK, with member companies including Dreamhack and Intel looking to further legitimise professional gaming as a sport.

Launched in the same month as the British eSports Association, the eSport Integrity Coalition (ESIC) lacks the government backing of its rival but boasts considerable commercial partnerships: founding members and supporters include ESL, Dreamhack, Intel, Plantronics, Sportradar, Sheridans, Betway, and Unikrn - the latter two, both gambling sites, offering a glimpse at ESIC's target markets.

'It has been eye-opening and a privilege to work in esports these past nine months and to have gained sufficient trust within the industry to be appointed the first Integrity Commissioner,' crowed ESIC's commissioner Ian Smith of the group's launch. 'I have spent the last 20 years working across a range of sports, involved heavily in the protection of their integrity, so I am looking forward to applying all those insights and experience to the esports ecosystem. There are many challenges ahead, but it is to esports' credit that the industry is taking these steps in anticipation of a foreseeable problem, rather than in reaction to a crisis, which is the route taken by most traditional sports to date.'

The organisation's mission statement, which can be found with additional information on the official website, proclaims it aims to 'be the recognised guardian of the sporting integrity of esports and to take responsibility for disruption, prevention, investigation and prosecution of all forms of cheating, including, but not limited to, match manipulation and doping.'
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