Video Gamers taking bribes from gamblers?

19 04 2010

[I play video games and when I saw this article I knew I had to post it.  Pro Gamers throwing matches, wow, how far will this match fixing go.  Is any sporting event or competitive event by professionals just a pure match without influence? I’m starting to really wonder….Check out this article from vgchartz.com]

The Korean E-Sports Association has filed charges against players and coaches for accepting bribes from gambling web sites to intentionally lose. This may have been going on for years.

First of all, for those who don’t know, StarCraft is serious business in Korea.  The game may be 12 years old, but hey, basketball’s 119 years old and still draws crowds.  The Korea Times points out that StarCraft alone accounts for 70% of all “E-sports” in South Korea.  Like traditional sports where people move more than their fingers, the professionals have their own coaches and sponsorships, and their televised competitions fill stadiums and have excited announcers detailing every move.  Now StarCraft is even involved in the biggest scandal in professional gaming history, which is currently unfolding.  The game has become so popular it has its own illegal gambling rackets, and the illegal gambling rackets are so big they’re now paying to control the outcomes of the games.

The Korean E-Sports Association has allegedly known about this illegal gambling problem for years and never alerted authorities.  They’ve been trying to solve it on their own, driving the whole operation even further underground.  The gambling started in 2006 and the pros allegedly got involved in 2008.  But this past week the news of the scandal has exploded across the internet, and they finally filed a complaint with the police to help with the investigation, and this has since been confirmed by the Ministry of Culture.  One Korean publication is even comparing this to the “Black Sox” scandal of 1919, when eight members of the Chicago White Sox intentionally threw the World Series.

The investigation is currently stilll in progress, and it’s alleged that many of the world’s greatest players are not only throwing matches, but they’re intentionally leaking their teams’ game replays.  This allows opponents to watch their whole team’s every move and be ready for them in future matches.  It is rumored that one of the players involved might be Ma Jae-Yoon, one of the world’s most famous players.  He’s been rated first nine times, winning at BlizzCon and several other tournaments.  In fact, most of the world’s most successful and famous players are implicated in the scandal, including several other BlizzCon winners and world champions.

Right now pro teams are blaming each other, firing their own members, and many under investigation are retiring.  Korean web sites are posting “blacklists” of everybody involved, but they are being taken down quickly.  Gamepron found this translated list of many of the players currently being investigated, and it’s almost all the world’s best players right now:


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