StarCraft II Match-Fixing In Korea Means Arrests, Bans


Even though DraftKings and FanDuel are both lining up to bring “skilled” fantasy sports “contests” to eSports, that doesn’t mean that a formalized, regulated market is necessarily on the horizon. Team Liquid is reporting through their website that members of Pro team Prime, including player Choi “YoDa” Byung Hyun and head coach Park Wae-Sik, have been arrested as part of allegations for match-fixing and illegal gambling on StarCraft II matches in Korea. Up to eleven people within the sport have also been arrested.

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The reports have been corroborated by the Korea e-Sports Association (KeSPA) in a statement, both of whom will be banned from all eSports, not just StarCraft II, for life for their transgressions. This comes after a KeSPA investigation that found at least five pro matches resulting in under-the-table rewards for players between $4,000-1700 per thrown match. The result is that brokers in the region making somewhere between $26,000 and $35,000 for two of said fixed matches.

While the notion of throwing matches for money may be something of a rarity for eSports, especially StarCraft II, it certainly aligns itself within the realm of traditional athletic sport. It was this year that Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace were banned for life for fixing matches in Tennis. A refereeing official in basketball was caught fixing the outcome of his games in order to meet certain betting lines. In any medium that involves betting and gambling, there’s an underlying possibility that criminal activity may be fueling nefarious behavior. If that doesn’t help solidify StarCraft II and eSports as “real” sports, I don’t know what does!

h/t Kotaku

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