KeSPA Announces Results of League of Legends Matchfixing Scandal Investigation
On Monday, KeSPA, the Korea e-Sports Association which acts as a governing body for eSports in South Korea, released the results of their investigation into the AHQ Korea League of Legends matchfixing scandal that was brought to light by AHQ Promise’s attempted suicide.
The result of the investigation by a KeSPA emergency task force showed that AHQ Korea team manager, Noh Dae Chul, attempted to fix matches at OGN’s League of Legends Champions Spring 2013 tournament but ruled that only Promise had attempted to throw the matches.
As part of their investigation, KeSPA interviewed AHQ Korea team members Casper, Hoon, Trace and Actscene. They also reviewed replays and audio files for AHQ Korea’s games from OnGamersNet.
KeSPA’s version of events says that manager Noh told the team that OGN wanted the team to lose as team sponsor AHQ didn’t pay an advertising fee to OGN so they wanted the bigger money teams to continue in the tournament. Noh asserted that the team would be paid by OGN to throw matches but they didn’t believe him. At that point, Noh approached Promise and ActScene and offered them a cut of OGN’s money to throw games.
Where Promise’s version of events and KeSPA’s version of events differ is in who was involved in matchfixing. According to Promise, he and ActScene were the only two players in the loop about throwing matches and actively participating in losing matches. KeSPA’s official investigation concluded that the team knew Noh wanted to throw games and, while he approached Promise and ActScene specifically to throw games, ActScene did nothing to intentionally lose games.
While the KeSPA report does mention that Promise was complicit in the matchfixing attempt, it appears they won’t be pursuing further punishment against Promise, though that hasn’t been explicitly confirmed. The sanctioning body is filing a lawsuit against Mr. Noh based on the findings of the investigation. They also will be examining other OGN teams to ensure players are treated properly.
Hopefully this is an isolated incident of matchfixing and it doesn’t hurt League of Legends as an eSport. Also, I hope that KeSPA and Riot can learn some lessons from this incident and use them to ensure the safety and well-being of their players in the future.