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eSports match fixing scandal leads to 12 arrests

eSports is a section of the videogame industry that has been growing at an exponential pace over the last five years, and with that growth comes a lot of money invested into eSports organizations.

Anytime something grows this fast it’s reasonable to expect the proliferation of match fixing, scandals, or other aspects of the game that may be in some way rigged. One of the most prominent games in the eSports world is Starcraft 2 — which gets major attention in China and Korea being followed almost to the same level as typical physical sports like football, American Football, hockey, or basketball in western countries.

Earlier Monday a Korean Investigation yielded 12 arrests as it discovered multiple games in the Korean eSports Association (KeSPA) were fixed for monetary gain. First announced by eSports community site Team Liquid, the investigation puts Park Wae-Sik — a KeSPA head coach — in hot water among others.

“…twelve individuals in connection with match-fixing and illegal betting in StarCraft 2, including PRIME head coach (Z)Gerrard (Park Wae-Sik) and progamers (T)YoDa (Choi Byeong-Heon) and (Z)BBoongBBoong (Choi Jong-Hyuk).” – Team Liquid report

YoDa was one of the main offenders explicitely losing two games for a 30,000,000 KRW, or $26,000 return in conjunction with certain brokers involved with the league.

Matches that are known to have been fixed:

2015 Proleague
• 06-09 match against HerO

2015 Season 1 GSL
• 02-13 – Code S Ro16 vs Life OR TY (Gerrard named as middleman)

2015 Season 2 GSL:
• 04-01 – Code A Ro48 vs DRG
• 05-13 – Code S Ro32 vs Bbyong (Gerrard named as middleman)

2015 Proleague:
• 01-20 match against Flash (Gerrard named as middleman)