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South Korea has criminalized account boosting

The law deals mainly with commercial boosting.

South Korea is one of the leading countries in esports. The industry is huge and robust. Some of the best players across various esports titles come from South Korea. Until this year, South Koreans had always won Starcraft II World Championships; that is in 20 straight years. That streak was broken by Serral this year. So basically, the country had a burgeoning esports industry 20 years ago, when the world was just learning about esports.

It is no doubt that the government takes the industry seriously as well. Earlier, the government had made hacking in games a punishable offence, and had also helped Blizzard in catching an Overwatch hacker. Now, a new law makes boosting a punishable offence in South Korea.

Boosting is the practice of making a low-level account reach higher tiers. This is usually done by a highly skilled player, who is paid by a lower skilled player. This undermines the ranking system of a game.

In South Korea, boosting has become an industry in itself. Two professional Overwatch players, Sado and OGE were recently penalized because they were caught boosting. Under the new law, anyone caught boosting can be fined up to $18,000 (20 million won) and can be given a suspended prison sentence of up to two years (via Inven).

The bill for which became a law was proposed by Representative Lee Dong-sup of the Bareunmirae Party, who said:

"Most of the popular games are suffering from professional dealer game companies. It has been a cancer that hurts the esports ecosystem as well as the casual gamers as well as the general users. But now that the amendment has been passed, it will help to create a healthy esports ecosystem.”  

The law will go into effect in six months. Riot Games released a statement to ESTNN, saying:

“Boosters are already suppressed within League of Legends, but this law will help us catch them even better once it’s passed.”

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MN | Rudraaksh

MN | Rudraaksh

Rudraaksh is a dentist by trade but a gamer by heart. He’s written for adventure sports website and volunteered for a Germany based newsletter, but is currently taking the esports scene by storm.

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