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Account boosting is now officially illegal in Korea

Published: 07:50, 28 June 2019
Dopa
Picture of Jeong "Apdo" Sang-gil at a press event
Jeong "Apdo" Sang-gil is one most well-known Korean account boosters in League of Legends

Account boosting is an issue in just about any competitive video game and South Korea is the first country to start regulating it. Account boosters can now face up to two years in prison as well as fines depending on the crime severity.

Account boosting is the practice of highly skilled players being paid by those of lower skill for the service of playing on their account in order to rise through ranks. This has a negative impact on other players in whatever bracket the boosted account ends up in because they will be stuck with a teammate that does not possess the skill for that level of play.

Having one teammate that doesn't belong in a similar skill bracket can cost matches and certainly tilts the teammates that do.

Now it looks like South Korea has had it with account boosters who can become literal outlaws. The new law started being enforced from 25 June 2019 and has a variety of activities that it can punish with up to $17.300 fines or up to two years in prison.

There is a small table that defines what the authorities will consider a crime and which activities will be let off the hook. For example, the clients seeking boosters will not be prosecuted but depending on a game's terms of service, they can face in-game punishments. 

Purchase of items, participation in events and broadcasting reviews or evaluations by proxy is also excluded from the prosecution.

However, the classic boosting, such as assuming a client's account in order to earn achievements or raise their rating will be prosecuted.

The same goes for duo queueing, which is an act of the booster using their own account and joining the lower skilled player in ranked matches in order to carry them to victory and boost their rank that way.

Riot Games A picture of a blue/gold Hextech Chest and Key set from League of Lgends. Basically a fancy name for loot boxes. League of Legends Hextech Chest

Game coaching is also not allowed in certain circumstances, such as duo queueing with the boostee in which case it would just be duo queueing in disguise.

Mediation of boosting services will be punishable. Therefore, if you are in South Korea, you should avoid advertising boosting or introducing people to boosters.

It looks like some boosters actually saw this coming long ago, with Dopa / Apdo being one of the most prominent League of Legends figures who occasionally went to China to grab a buck or two.

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