Twelve people have been arrested following the revelation of match-fixing an illegal betting in Blizzard’s sci-fi real-time strategy Starcraft II, with lifetime bans issued to all offenders, reports Team Liquid. The Changwon Regional Prosecutor’s Office has revealed that PRIME head coach Gerrard (Park Wae-Sik) and programmers YoDa (Choi Byeong-Heon) and BBoongBBoong (Choi Jong-Hyuk) are the most high-profile figures to have been arrested over the allegations. Brokers and financial backers behind the scenes have also been arrested.
PRIME Head Coach Gerrard is thought to have been the middle-man, co-ordinating the match fixing with brokers and fellow players, with a total of 57,000,000 KRW (Korean won) changing hands via Gerrard.
Following an investigation by Korean authorities, five matches were found to have been fixed – four played by YoDa, and one by BBoongBBoong – all taking place between January and June this year.
List of fixed matches, based on information from the official investigation
• 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)
• 01-20 match against Flash (Gerrard named as middleman)
After the arrests, KeSPA released the following statement:
Hello, this is director Cho Man Soo of the Korean e-Sports Association.
The association opened a disciplinary hearing today. We plan to ban Gerrard (Prime head coach) and YoDa for life and permanently suspend their licenses.
Since 2010, the association has worked alongside the rest of the industry to fight against the illegal betting that has continued to threaten the foundation of e-Sports. It is extremely regrettable that a related incident has occurred again, and we apologize to all of the fans who have shown e-Sports their love and support.
This is the association’s understanding of the situation:
Toward the end September, we confirmed that PRIME’s Gerrard and YoDa had been arrested and incarcerated by public prosecutors on charges related to illegal betting and match-fixing.
The case is currently under investigation, and as such we expect details to be released at a later time by the Prosecutor’s office. The association will actively cooperate in the investigation, and if any others are found to be involved in the case, they will be banned for life regardless of the result of a trial. Depending on the circumstances, the association may sue for damages and/or file charges on grounds of obstruction.
Since 2013, the association has enacted regular anti-corruption education for all head coaches, coaches, and players competing in Proleague. The association also received agreements from coaching staff and players that they could be subject to measures under civil and/or criminal law should they be involved in illegal betting. Furthermore, starting in 2014, we started a program reward those who reported or confessed to illicit activities, and signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the police department’s Cyber Bureau, the Korea Communications Standards Commission, and the Korea Internet Self-governance Organization for a clean e-Sports environment.
The association independently learned that Gerrard and YoDa were involved illegal betting from an anonymous source seeking a reward. While investigating the case internally, we learned that the Prosecutor’s office had made arrests and were holding an investigation, and we have been receiving legal advice since then.
The association will pursue strong legal measures based on recent reports, and will be utterly uncompromising should investigators find any hint of connection. Going forward, the association’s stance toward illegal betting will continue to be one of zero-compromise, and we will continue to respond strongly to create a healthy e-Sports culture.
The League of Legends team SBENU, which was run by Gerrard, will be run under the association’s stewardship, and there will be no interruptions in the operations of the team.
Once again, we apologize for worrying all of the fans of Korean e-Sports and everyone who works tirelessly for the advancement of e-Sports.
Image courtesy of Blizzard.