StarCraft Subject to Further Allegations of Match-Fixing and Illegal Betting

/ 3 years ago


Three weeks ago, Pinnacle sports, a betting website, voided all bets on a StarCraft II proleague match after noticing suspicious betting patterns that suggested foreknowledge of the match outcome. Now, Olivia Wong, assistant manager of Axiom eSports, has complained on Twitter that match-fixing is rife within the Korean StarCraft community.

Axiom eSports is the StarCraft team owned by John Bain, aka game critic TotalBiscuit. Bain released a statement, supporting Wong’s complaints, and elucidating further on the endemic match-fixing culture within the game:

A lot of these smaller tournaments online are getting mysterious sponsors from Korea. They almost never list a company or product that’s sponsoring the event, but they have prizepools of $1-2k that come from a mysterious benefactor. More often than not these are Korean betters and they give the money in return to access to the game. These events often require that an “admin” will be in the game. That admin is either a better himself or is feeding information to a selection of betters, bypassing the stream delay. How deep this goes remains to be seen. It’s entirely feasible that these people are also approaching players to fix matches.

Tournament organiser has announced that it has severed all ties with its sponsor, confirming that the deal appeared suspicious in the wake of these allegations:

The set-up is very similar to what others have described for the illegal betting. He asked to observe in-game, which is something I knew they previously did for the Connecting Slovenia tournaments, and asked for a five minute delay to be set (which is less than what other tournaments have been running on, apparently.) Personally I found both requests fairly reasonable, though I didn’t really know why they wanted to be in the game I assumed they just wanted to be around should something happen or perhaps they were collecting the replays. The delay I found to be perfectly reasonable as well. Usually I run SC2ITL broadcasts with a 2-3 minute delay, but a 5 minute delay for a larger tournament with a higher prize pool at stake seemed fair.

No professional StarCraft players have yet been implicated in match-fixing or suspicious betting, but the Korean eSports Association (KeSPA) has announced (thanks to a translation by Team Liquid) that it will be vetting all future online tournaments before approving them.

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Source: PC Games N

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