League of Legends Pro Player Attempts Suicide After Revealing Matchfixing Scandal
Former League of Legends pro player Cheon Min-Ki attempted to committed suicide on Wednesday night shortly after revealing that his former team, AHQ Korea, was involved in matchfixing orchestrated by the team’s manager, Noh Dae Chul.
First, the latest report on Cheon (also known as AHQ K Promise) is that he did survive his suicide attempt but doctor’s believe that he will have permanent injuries as a result.
According to a post he made on Facebook, he and fellow AHQ Korea player Actscene were told by their team manager, Noh Dae Chul, to lose games intentionally during the League of Legends Champions Spring 2013 tournament in Korea. Noh’s story was that OnGameNet, a Korean cable company who broadcasts and organizes various eSports tournaments, would prevent the team from playing in the playoffs if they didn’t lose to the bigger teams in the tournament.
Promise said that the real reason for the matchfixing was because Noh bet against AHQ Korea in order to make money to pay off loans he had taken out. Noh was allegedly also selling equipment sent by AHQ Korea to the players to get money. Reports out of Korean indicate that the police are looking for Noh but have yet to find him.
That there is matchfixing in sports or eSports isn’t unusual. Italian soccer has gone through a matchfixing scandal in recent memory. eSports news site, GosuGamers, also noted that there was a major matchfixing scandal several years ago in the StarCraft: Brood War scene.
Here is Cheon’s full posting on Facebook made prior to his suicide attempt, as translated by Reddit user AskMeAboutZombies:
Hello everyone. I am Pimir, former LoL pro. I was on AHQ Korea, also known as AHQ K Promise. I’ve also used such names as patience/AD Pimir, etc. I will be gone 5 minutes after posting this, so proof that it’s really Pimir will be on my kakaotalk and facebook, along with my death note.
Since I’ll be gone soon, I am writing on inven today to tell you about game fixing. Me and Actscene (another AHQ Korea player) were the only players actually involved in the game fixing; the other teammates only knew about it after the games.
Reason for Game Fixing: The purpose behind fixing these games was to benefit Manager Noh’s illegal betting on Korean eSports games (including LoL), otherwise known as “Toto” in Korea.
Timeframe: 2013 LoL Champs Spring
Manager Noh told our team that Ongamenet had threatened him: “If we don’t lose to the big teams (KT, CJ etc), our team would be unable to play in the playoffs” (obviously this was a lie, but we didn’t know at the time). Hoon replied that he wouldn’t be a part of any match fixing. Manager Noh then called me and Actscene later that night to discuss it, and since we believed him, we agreed to put the (game fixing) plan into action.
The Games: Our matches versus KTB (game 1&2) and versus CJF (game 1&2) were supposed to be fixed. If you look at all four games, you’ll see that we gave first blood every time. We were losing in game 1 against KT, but then we came back. We knew at that point we could win the game, but in my mind we had to lose. The (teammates) calls over voice and Manager Noh’s voices kept entering my mind and it confused the fuck out of me. I thought “this is fucking mad!” We ended up losing that game. Game 2 vs KT was not fixed, we couldn’t win at all.
As a professional player, I wanted to win our games against KT, and tried to. But before playing against CJF, our manager Noh again threatened “If you win a game here, AHQ will be disqualified from LoLChamps.” The threat made me realize that if I win, all my efforts in becoming a pro would have been useless. During our games against CJF, I purposely did things to throw the game, like not deal damage in team fights, or flash and Ezreal E forward to get killed (We had just beaten CJF in a scrim that morning, against the exact same team comp they used in our OGN match. Both Hoon and I carried during that scrim).
After the game, I talked to Hoon about everything. Hoon said he was already having conflicts with the Manager, and there was something “off” about him. Hoon’s had a long career as a professional gamer, so I guess he sensed the weird things our manager was doing.
When we first made the team, we were told that AHQ sponsored us with cash and computers. We didn’t know they only gave us gaming gear for rights to the team name. Our manager Noh had lied to us, and took out a loan to pay for our housing, living expenses, computers, and even our salaries. He was planning on placing illegal bets on eSports games and fixing them to win back the borrowed money and make a profit (I’ll mention my Skype convo with an actual AHQ person later for proof).
When we told our other teammates about the match fixing, we decided to confront Noh after our game against SKT. Noh said we should bet against ourselves in the upcoming games with Najin later that week, throw both games to make a shit-ton of money, and then “Get the fuck out of the pro scene.” We told him that we weren’t interested in illegal gambling and wouldn’t do it. Even at this point, we didn’t know AHQ was not sponsoring us with cash.
When we came back to our living quarters after the Najin game, we found Noh sold off three of our practice computers and was clearing out the house. Noh said he couldn’t pay the rent and we’d soon lose all utilities, so we should leave (we found it was Noh who tried to shut them off, unsuccessfully). Since we had an LG game coming up, we decided to stay until the game. We asked Noh why he sold our practice computers, and his response was that AHQ is demanding their money back from the team.
Later on, I contacted AHQ and talked to their management in Taiwan. They denied ever donating any money or computers. They only donated gaming gear meant for the players themselves, not manager Noh. I asked if we could keep rest of the gear for practice and they approved. Eventually, we discovered that Noh was selling our practice computers so he could pay off his debts and run.
After our next game against Najin, we confronted Noh and announced we’re leaving the team. We demanded payment for the months that he still owed us. Noh responded that he couldn’t give us the money right away, but he would instead waive the 50% commission that AHQ claimed on prize money. Since we previously talked to AHQ management, the entire team already knew Noh was lying. AHQ never sponsored us with cash, never had rights to prize money and the computers didn’t belong to them, so who is he trying to pay money back to?
Noh kept insisting he had to pay AHQ, but at this point we knew he was lying out of his ass. When we showed evidence of his lying, he argued it was false. After 2~3 hours of arguing, we came to an agreement that Noh would pay our salaries for the months owed and would not contest any prize money won from OGN.
Because of these events, we couldn’t practice for a week. We played vs LG IM game, and Najin eventually won. We could have done better. I know I could have done better, but thanks to these events my professional career was over. After practicing to my best for a year, all I had left was a feeling of emptiness.
tl;dr: I’m not in this world after 5 minutes, AHQ Korea was a team made by Noh to profit off illegal gambling, teammates didn’t know and we had to fix games because of this. AHQ Taiwan never sponsored our team, it was a lie. I am sorry for all of this, and I can’t tell you everything, but I’m leaving now as I can’t deal with this anymore.
We’ll keep this story up to date as more information arises.