Welcome to ‘The Know’. I’m Ashley Jenkins, and I’m Ryan Haywood. We are one step closer for legitimacy for ‘eSports’.
We’ve got a full blown cheating ring scandal in Starcraft II resulting in 11 indictments, 8 arrests and 1 person “On the run”. Where were all these ‘Video Game Police’ when I was high school? I mean like ‘Screen Cheaters’, ‘Loping Bastards’, come on. None of them got arrested. Progress takes time.
This scandal has been unfolding for several months with South Korean authorities yesterday releasing the full details of their investigation. Yeah, the Changwon Regional Prosecution Service’s Special Investigations Division has been looking into the cheating rings since January. For 1 set of ‘Thrown’ matches, 1 top tier Pro Gamer was charged along with 2 financial backers, who provided the money. 1 to place the bets and 4 brokers who facilitated the relationships. In another set of ‘Thrown’ matches, 1 Pro Gamer was charged, along with another financial backer. The final financial backer for that match is “Still on the run”.
Ohh, the cops should have really built some more Vikings (Starcraft pun) He’s gonna pull some Thelma & Louise! Or you know, if your going for any game talk, its like when you’re trying to finish a ‘Ranked Match’ and they’ve all got that 1 asshole in that CV who’s just hiding behind your command centre. He escaped into the Fog of War 1 of the 2 Pro Games arrested as part of this investigation is 19 year old ‘Life’ 1 of Starcraft II’s ‘Top 50’ players, with a number of achievements under his belt. ‘Life’ aka Lee Seung Hyun allegedly accepted a total of ₩70,000,000 (KRW) which is – South Korea are so serious about Pro Gaming that they named thier currency WON. *Cheeky Thumbs Up* For throwing 2 matches in a Starcraft II tournament. That amounts to about 60,000 Bucka-roo’s (US).
Wons… more like losses! *Un-gratified Cheer (only from Ryan)* Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.
Not taking credit for that one. (Could have been Pun-kleman) The other player ‘Bbyong’, the 23 year old Jung Woo Yong is akoosed (flub)… Accused of taking ₩30,000,000. Around $30,000 for throwing a separate match. Now these arrests come after a separate incident last October, which let to 12 indictments and 9 arrests. And those included 2 players, an eSports journalist and even a Starcraft II Coach.
However, this new set of arrests show that Starcraft II’s match-fixing goes much deeper than previously thought in South Korea. Nearly 70% of all the money ever awarded in Starcraft II has gone to players in South Korea. So it’s not really a shock that some of these ‘Match-Fixing’ has coalesced there.
Yeah, cheating in eSports, or any kind of ‘Big Money’ competitive events; really, is not unprecedented. but we don’t often hear about people getting arrested for their part in cheating, when it comes to Video Game tournaments. Most of the time it just leads to bans from the sport or the game, instated by the games developer, in the US at least. This was the case with Valve after last years CS:GO match-fixing scandal was uncovered. South Korea clearly takes it a little bit more seriously.
Yeah. That CS:GO match-fixing occurred between teams iBUYPOWER and NetcodeGuides.com where several of the gamers appeared to be playing irregularly and then 1 journalist screenshotted conversations he had with one of the players who admitted that a match had been ‘Thrown’. Reportedly, more than $10,000 in gambling earnings changed hands for that particular ‘Fix’. Afterwards, Valve banned about 7 players total indefinitely from participating in any future CS:GO events sponsored by Valve Typically we don’t see arrests here for this kind of scandal as eSports isn’t regulated by gambling laws here, like it is elsewhere.
Yeah, that’s mostly because gambling itself is illegal almost everywhere in the United States. And even if it were, there would still be the problem of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, making it illegal to gamble online. So it’s ‘Double Illegal’ to gamble here. ‘Double Super Illegal’.
We hate fun like that I want people getting arrested here, it’s exciting. Look, you’re dumb for throwing your money away and you should be punished by the government. It’s the Math Tax.
Many see this as another sign of Starcraft II’s gradual eSports decline. Back in 2012 and 2013, Starcraft II was basically ‘The most accessible game to watch in eSports” and contributed to the astronomical growth of Twitch as a streaming platform Yeah, that throne now belongs to MOBAs of course, with League of Legends and Dota 2 eclipsing Starcraft II. Both in shared viewership but also in the money changing hands in the games biggest tournaments. To date, Dota 2 is king with more than 60,000,000 dished out in prize money and casino bonuses us. League of Legends ranked second with more than 27,000,000 winnings. That’s a distant second.
Yeah, that is a pretty wide gap. And Starcraft II has fallen to third with a poultry 18,000,000 in total earnings. With far more tournaments played than the other two combined. Now while this money pales in comparison to the number of Harry Dunphy we seen thrown around big acronym professional sports. Its still a sign that eSports is increasing lucrative for everyone involved.
Cheaters included. Beyond match-fixing, there has been plenty of other examples of cheating in the ‘eSports World’ There was another cheating scandal in CS:GO back in 2014 when 2 whole teams were banned from participating in ‘DreamHack’ after hacks were found on the players computers Yeah, there’s also been the case of people using exploits or glitches and unsportsmanlike behavior in other games as well. It all sounds like ‘real sports’. A Dota 2 team ‘Union Gaming’ has come under fire for unpausing matches mid-tournament. “How Dare They!”
for instance at the time there were not any rules in place for that kind of thing. Seriously, someone hacked at DreamHack. It seems like they kinda asked for that to happen. You mean, you put it in your name. But they are just hacking your dreams Ryan.
Well. My dreams are in video games. In another case a Korean League of Legends team was fined $30,000 for stream peeking to gain a tournament advantage back in 2012. Anytime there is money to be made somewhere.
It is only logical that someone will come along looking to see how they can tweak the system so they can make a little bit of extra cash out of it. Yes… Interesting… *Mad King is plotting again.. Hide Edgar* Though some would say that this casts a bad power on eSports tournaments and whether or not we can trust the system. Others would say that this just demonstrates that eSports legitimacy.
Right! Its worth cheating in. But as for ‘staying power’ yet to be seen.
Cheating and Gambling is a huge part of basically every other sport on the planet. I mean its estimated that over $380,000,000,000 is made on illegal sports gambling, every single year. And so, really eSports has a long way to go to catch up. Yeah, plenty of money still yet to be lost, or made.
But mainly lost. So far it hasn’t deterred others from enjoying these sports. Well except for these people that keep getting arrested. For them, probably not too happy. What are you in for??
I cheated in Video Games. *Super Saiyan Power up* What do you guys think of this huge Starcraft II cheating ring? Are you surprised by the amount of money changing hands? Let us know in the comments.
For all your latest Cheating, Embezzling and Money Laundering and Drying stories about your favourite Video Games. Like this video and subscribe to ‘The Know’. I send money through the wash all the time, on accident. It comes out so clean and crisp. Riiight! Except really folded.
Yeah sometimes like a little ball. It’s a shame. Like a wad. That’s the best money to gamble with because you just found money. Right!
Its already been laundered. I didn’t even know I had it.