Boosting, account sharing and ‘duo gaming’ in games like Overwatch could land you in jail in South Korea, as new laws have gone into effect on June 25.
The new law, first passed in December 2018 by the South Korean National Assembly, aims to curb boosting in popular games by handing out harsh punishments.
Prison sentences up to two years or fines of up to 20 million won (~$17,300 USD) can be meted out to players found guilty of a variety of different offenses, under an amendment to the law on Game Business Development.
What is boosting?
The term ‘boosting’ refers to a highly-skilled player using another player's account to artificially ‘boost’ their rank in competitive playlists. For example, a skilled Overwatch player may accept payment to level-up a lesser-skilled players’ profile.
Games like Overwatch and League of Legends rely on these rankings to determine skill groups, and the very best players can often reach professional status.
As the new law describes it: (Boosting): the act of playing on a client’s account in his or her stead and raising his or her points/achievements.
Even professional players have boosted in the past, with the most high-profile example being Dallas Fuel’s Son ‘OGE’ Min-seok, who was handed a four-match ban, and Philadelphia Fusion’s Kim ‘SADO’ Su-Min, whose even more egregious boosting record earned him a 30-match ban.