Your Guide to Staying Safe When Playing eSports



The current pandemic has forced most of us inside, only going outside when we absolutely have to. So it’s only natural that we’d search for new ways to pass the time. For many, eSports has proven itself as one of those ways, and trust me when I say, it’s a time-consuming hobby.

And as much fun as eSports can be, it does suffer from a few issues, one of which concerns the security and privacy of its players and viewers. Because of these issues and the influx of new viewers, I want to go over these security issues and offer you solutions to these issues.

3 Risks in the eSports Industry

First, let’s look at the risks plaguing people in the industry.

1. Hacking

eSports and hacking are synonymous in many ways. Hacking can affect everyone involved with the industry: the companies, the players, and the viewers.

In December 2016, the E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) was hacked by a group of hackers, leaking 1.5 million players’ personal information and profiles.

This could happen at any time, especially now, due to the rise in hacking during the pandemic.

2. Doxing

A similar situation to the first point, doxing is a major issue in the competitive scene. For those who are unaware of what doxing is, it’s when someone illegally pulls personal information of another player, and publicly broadcasting it.

For example, if someone were to find your name, phone number, and address because you got into a fight with them over Twitter, that would be considered doxing.

3. Cheating

Last but not least, we have the topic of cheating.

Cheating is a widespread problem. Many competitors have been found to be using some sort of hack or cheat that gives them an unfair advantage.

The most popular cheats tend to be ones that allow players to view where their opponents are at all times and use their abilities through surfaces meant to block line of sight, such as walls and floors.

How to Stay Safe While Viewing eSports

Reading these three things, you may be wondering how you can avoid falling victim to them. After all, what can you do to avoid being doxed? Allow me to tell you a few solutions.

Solution #1: Use a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the best ways to combat doxing and some forms of hacking. A VPN encrypts any information being transferred between your device and the server it’s connecting to, meaning no one will be able to steal any data or use it as a path to dox your personal information.

I highly recommend you install a VPN for gaming, as cybersecurity is becoming a growing issue in eSports.

Solution #2: Report Players

If you find that someone you watch or someone you play with or against is using hacks to gain an unfair advantage, report them. Developers and companies take those accusations seriously, and it’s only a matter of time until their actions catch up to them.

Solution #3: Don’t Give Out Personal Information

A bit of an obvious tip, but don’t give out any more personal information than you need, especially as a viewer. Rarely do you ever need to give someone your real name in order to participate in a competitive game. Stay safe and happy gaming!