Korea’s professional esports has for long been hailed above other regions of the world. However when it comes to corruption, even they aren’t spared.
This week saw players of League of Legends team AHQ level some serious accusations against their own team and its coach. The accusations which currently seem to be true state that the team was created by manager Noh Dae Chul for the sole purpose of illegal betting. AHQ would have to throw matches and for this to work, the players were threatened by the manager with banning them from all future Korean tournaments.
The players didn’t know that Noh Dae Chul was only telling lies and ultimately had to adhere to his demands. This went on until the players realized that their sponsors from AHQ were fake. All the promises their manager told them were lies as well.
South Korean player Cheon Min-Ki, better known online as AHQ K Promise came out last night to reveal it all. He said that the scandal had ruined his professional gaming career and nothing he could do at this point would amend anything. His post, which also was to serve as his suicide note, said that they were promised with cash and computers. Later though they realized that their manager had taken out a loan to pay for the team’s living expenses, but instead used it to place bets on the team’s matches to score profit.
He also revealed that Dae Chul stated he was on good terms with Korean e-sports broadcaster OnGameNet (organizer of the largest League of Legends tournament in South Korea) and that they would disqualify them from future competitions if they didn’t throw the games they were asked for. As mentioned above, this was just a bluff, but one which players of AHQ didn’t want to call.
Dae Chul also asked the team to bet against themselves, throw the match and get out of the esports scene. The team refused and demanded their salaries for the month owed, and any prize money they won previously. It didn’t go too well for the team.
Min-Ki attempted suicide shortly after posting his confessions online, but survived. The latest update is that he is awake but still in critical condition. Meanwhile, the Korean E-Sports Association (KESPA), the Korean arm of League of Legends publisher Riot Games and the local authorities are investigating the matter, and Korean e-sports site Inven is running a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for Min-Ki’s medical bills — full details are here.