Two professional video gamers have been charged with matchfixing. The pair reportedly received a total of $87,000 to deliberately lose contests.
Video gaming, or e-sports, have been getting more and more like more traditional sports in recent years. TBS announced a deal to start its own league for live broadcasts of Counter-Strike Global Offensive games this year, while the Electronic Sports League has introduced a drug testing program after a player admitted using Adderall to improve reaction time.
Now two Global Starcraft League players have been charged by South Korean authorities with intentionally losing matches. Lee Seung Hyun, better known as “Life” allegedly accepted 70 million won (US$61,000) to throw two matches last May. Bung Woo Yong, also known as “Bbyong” is accused of taking 30 million won (US$26,000) to lose a match in January 2015.
This criminal case follows a recent decision by Valve to ban a group of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players for fixing a match. That incident didn’t involve professional gambling and oddsmakers. Instead the players rigged the game partly in a scam involving private betting and partly to ensure one team won virtual items which were highly valued in the game’s virtual economy, then shared the bounty between them.