Esports head departs amid betting allegations

News on 5 Apr 2018

James Watson, head of eSports at betting data provider Sportradar, has agreed to step down following allegations that he placed bets on professional eSports events in contravention of company policy.

The allegations reportedly started when Rahul Sood, chief executive of Unikrn, used social media to accuse Watson of “using multiple accounts” to bet on games.

In a statement on the issue, Sportradar said it had conducted an internal review on the matter and concluded that although its integrity framework had not been impacted by the incident, it acknowledged that Watson had made bets  and that as a consequence he had agreed to step down.

“Importantly, no evidence was found to suggest that James was using privileged information to bet, nor that he bet on any events where integrity concerns were raised by the Esports Integrity Coalition,” the Sportradar statement clarified.

“Furthermore, there was no evidence to suggest that he was engaged in any manipulation of pricing for the purposes of betting through any of his online activity.

“However, it was clear that James placed a series of low-level bets with Unikrn.

“Sportradar has a strict policy in relation to employees betting and takes the integrity of its operations very seriously. As a result it has been mutually agreed that James will leave Sportradar.”

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