League of Legends team loses playoff spot after match fixing scandal
Match fixing may be the biggest problem facing competitive League of Legends right now.
According to multiple reports, four members of the Rogue Warriors organization have been suspended for intentionally throwing games. Kangjian “Zhanzhao” Liao, Jie “Caocao” Ren, and Zhanhong “FengXian” Liu from Rogue Warriors’ developmental RW Shark team have been suspended for 18 seasonal months. Rogue Warriors jungler Tao “XiaoYao” Xie has also received the same punishment. RW Shark coach Ye “ShiMing” Sheng-Liao and team manager Haokao Li have received formal warnings.
“Due to the fact that registration for new LDL players is already closed, RWS will not be able to register new players before the playoffs,” the league said. “As such, according to LDL regulations article 4.1.3 and 9.6.10, RWS will lose their spot in the LDL 2019 Spring Playoffs due to failure to have a 5-player team. Their opponents will receive a bye in affected series.”
No details were given on how many games were fixed or exactly which games were impacted. Regardless, this is a hard blow to the LPL and the entire competitive League of Legends community.
The news of Rogue Warriors’ match fixing comes just days after a similar story in the LMS, where Hong Kong’s Dragon Gate Team was punished for similar reasons. Though the fixing of games by Dragon Gate Team was allegedly done at the behest of the team's owner and involved only one player, there is no way to ignore two major scandals being revealed just days before the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational.
What is match fixing? How bad is match fixing in esports?
Match fixing is the act of players not competing to their full ability in order to bring about a desired result in a match. In most cases, match fixing involves a player or team intentionally losing. In certain games such as basketball and soccer, it can involve players attempting to maintain a certain score.
In professional competition, match fixing is almost always done in concert with betting interests. Individuals close to or inside a team will bet against them for a contest, and attempt to influence the outcome to increase the likelihood of a winning bet.
Esports has had a number of match fixing scandals across a variety of games. The biggest instance of this came in 2010 where Ma "sAviOr" Jae Yoon and a number of other top StarCraft: Brood War players were charged with manipulating match outcomes. This occurred again in 2015 with StarCraft 2. Few other cases have led to serious legal action, but there have been a number of scandals in other games including Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that have seen players banned from prominent leagues and events.
Widespread match fixing is a serious concern for leagues, publishers, and tournament organizers, as questions about the integrity of a contest can effectively kill a competition's popularity.
Riot Games and regional League of Legends organizers have been cracking down on these incidents, with both Rogue Warrior and Dragon Gate Team receiving serious punishments for alleged match fixing.
Riot makes competitive ruling on Greek match manipulation case
Match fixing in Dota 2 reminds us of long-running problem in esports
WePlay! suspends team from Pushka League over alleged match fixing
Spanish organization cuts CS:GO team after match fixing scandal
Dragon Gate Team barred from LMS after match fixing allegations
Fortnite players win tournament moments before quitting Fortnite
Riot employees consider walkout amidst continued frustration
Former Team Liquid coach Heen joins up with TNC Predator
New Storm Rising audio could hint at more new Overwatch content
New teams take over the standings in latest Winners League action
Overwatch adds the new Hero Gauntlet to Arcade mode on PTR
Byali steps down from Virtus.pro, team announces replacement
Guardians of the Galaxy skins leaked by Fortnite data miners
Riot Games and Marvel Comics team up for new comic based on Lux
Ninjas in Pyjamas win OGA Dota PIT Minor, head to Disneyland Major
Tfue headlines latest qualified players for Fortnite World Cup
Mortal Kombat developer accused of brutal crunches, discrimination
Riot claims ex-employees waived rights to file for discrimination
Power outage leads to awkward delay at OWL Homestand Weekend