Boosting Accounts Is Now a Crime in South Korea, Jail Time and Big Fines
With South Korea taking eSports as seriously as any other professional sport here in the states, it's no wonder they're making laws to prevent boosting.
In South Korea, the act of playing ranked matches on another persons’ account–or “boosting”–will be a punishible crime in six months. The person doing the boosting might even go to jail.
Going to jail for playing video games though, sounds pretty rad.
South Korea, which just took home its third-in-a-row championship title in the Overwatch World Cup, takes gaming very seriously, and rightfully so. Esports has ascended to the levels of participation akin to baseball in the United States. When players are entering into professional careers playing video games, boosting becomes the equivalent to using performance-enhancing drugs.
The law is coming into effect as an amendment to the Game Industry Promotion Act according to Dot Esports (who have translated Korean news site Inven). First proposed in June of 2017, the amendment has now been passed with the help of developers who will act as watchdogs for this sort of criminal activity.
The accused stand to pay a fine of up to 20 million won, or $18,000 USD as well as a two-year suspended prison sentence. If you thought that South Korea takes their video games seriously, consider the fact that Blizzard requires Korean players to input their social security numbers to play Overwatch on PC if they don’t have a license.
This amendment isn’t happening in a vacuum either as the companies behind major eSports titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and DOTA 2 are all based in the United States. Having fewer players disrupting their ranked ecosystem makes the game more enjoyable for everyone involved. What’s more is that these US-based companies are going to be the ones communicating with the South Korean government in order to get these punishments doled out.
I also stand to benefit from the law, because boosted players are definitely what is keeping me from getting past diamond in Overwatch.