Korean League of Legends scandal exposed after attempted suicide

UPDATE: KeSPA files lawsuit against team's match-fixing manager.

UPDATE 18/03 10.30AM: The Korean eSports Association, KeSPA, has corroborated Cheon Min-Ki's story based on testimonies from the rest of the AHQ team.

There are small discrepancies in Min-Ki's story, and the new information casts him as the sole accomplice to his manager's match-fixing. In his confession, Min-Ki had said team-member ActScene was on the match-fixing as well, and he was, verbally, but when matchday came he apparently refused to throw the games.

"We currently have filed a lawsuit against [the team's manager] Mr Noh, and the evidence reported here will also be used as evidence in the case," announced KeSPA on a Korean news site - information collated on League of Legends subreddit.

ORIGINAL STORY 13/03 12PM: A South Korean former professional League of Legends player is in critical condition after attempting suicide, having, shortly before, exposed the match-rigging scandal he'd unwittingly become a part of, and which ruined his career.

Cheon Min-Ki (AKA AHQ K Promise, AD Pimir, patience) played for a South Korean team called AHQ, which he says was created with corrupt intentions.

Manager Noh Dae Chul allegedly planned to assemble five top League of Legends players, have them make a name for themselves and then begin throwing matches while illegally betting - and winning big - on the underdogs.

minki

Cheon Min-Ki, AKA Promise, Pimir, patience.

"When we first made the team," Min-Ki explained (post translated and tidied up on Reddit), "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."

Dae Chul reportedly told Min-Ki and one other that if they didn't lose against certain teams, South Korean eSports television channel OnGameNet - organisers of the largest LoL tournament in South Korea - would ban them from future competitions.

Min-Ki said he believed Dae Chul and so the match-throwing began. It went on until Min-Ki could take it no longer and confided in the rest of the team. Together, they apparently confronted Dae Chul, who tried to coax the team into one last hurrah, betting against themselves on a match they'd presumably otherwise easily win, after which they'd get out. They refused.

Dae Chul started clearing the house the team lived and trained in, selling their practice computers.

"Thanks to these events my professional career was over. After practising to my best for a year, all I had left was a feeling of emptiness," wrote Min-Ki.

As an accomplice to illegal match fixing, he potentially faces prosecution.

"Riot Korea are currently in touch with KeSPA [Korean eSports Association] and OnGameNet to gather all the correct facts and are taking this matter very seriously. We are always protective of our players and endeavour to find out exactly what happened and how we can provide support," Riot Games told me this afternoon.

Riot Korea has issued a statement on the regional League of Legends website. Google Translate only does a basic job of translating the text so I'm waiting for a proper translation.

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