An investigation by the Korean eSports Association, KeSPA, corroborated allegations of a match-fixing scheme, to which a top League of Legends player confessed last week before attempting suicide.
Testimony KeSPA took from teammates of player Cheon Min-Ki (above) support his claim that their team’s manager intended to place heavy bets against their League of Legends matches, once they had acquired a strong reputation, and then direct them to throw those matches. The proceeds from the illegal bets, Cheon alleged, were to have gone toward salaries living and training expenses that, instead of being paid by a sponsor, their manager had been secretly covering with a loan.
According to a translation of KeSPA’s findings, only Cheon and the manager of AHQ Korea, Noh Dae Chul, were engaged in any match-fixing scheme. The alleged match-fixing dates to an event in March 2013. Other players on AHQ did not attempt to throw matches, though one had been asked to by Noh and refused, the investigation said. KeSPA said it had filed a lawsuit against Noh.
The report said Noh told the team they had to lose at the OnGameNet Champions Spring 2013 event because a fee the team’s sponsor should have paid had not been covered. Therefore, Noh told the team, the event sponsor required them to lose against big teams that had paid the fee. KeSPA said all this was a lie, apparently to get the team to fix a match without knowing the real purpose.
Later on, according to a translation of this report, Cheon said he believed the stories Noh had told him and continued to fix matches. Ultimately, he could no longer take it and confessed to his teammates, who confronted Noh about the allegations. Noh tried to convince them all to participate in fixing a match they should easily win, after which they would be paid and could get out of the team. The players refused, and Noh sold off the computers and equipment they used to practice in the home where they all stayed.
Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends, provided this translated statement it posted to the game’s official site in Korea on Thursday.
We would like to inform and update you about the unfortunate event that occurred this morning as many of you who heard the news must be gravely concerned.
It seems that the heart of this incident is the exploitation and fraud against a LoL player who was a member of a particular team.
Our foremost priorities are in providing protection the player, aiding his medical treatments for player’s recovery for the player, fast fact-finding and strict measures.
Riot Games takes preservation of our e-Sports culture very seriously, and does not want any false rumor to spread. Therefore, Riot Games is doing its best to figure out what really happened and what we are going to do about it.
A task force has been formed, and all Rioters are taking this matter as their top priority.
We would also like to tell you that Riot Games is cooperating closely with KeSPA and OGN, for fact-finding and deciding which measures to take.
We will provide all possible help to aid the recovery of the affected player as well.
Lastly, we respectfully ask our players to refrain from making un-verified speculations or criticisms for the sake of the player and LoL e-Sports.
We sincerely wish for player Min-Ki Cheon’s recovery.