Korean StarCraft Corruption Confirmed; 11 Players Implicated

By Brian Leahy, May 17, 2010 4:27pm PDT Last month, reports from South Korea broke that players and organizations were involved in illegal match-fixing within the country's lucrative professional gaming scene for Blizzard's RTS.

TeamLiquid.net has translated a report from Newsis.com that confirms that match-fixing has occurred, implicating 16 invididuals: "11 current and ex-progamers, 3 brokers, and 2 individuals who used inside information on the fixing to place bets."

The report alleges that brokers and representatives of illegal gambling organizations approached pro-gamers and paid them in exchange for deliberately losing games. Bets were then placed on these fixed games resulting in large gambling payouts. These pro-gamers then approached other gamers to get them to throw games.

One player, Moon Sung Jin aka "type-b", has admitted guilt and has issued a public apology, which has been translated:

I am sorry. Due to a hasty mistake, I have disappointed many people. I have nothing to say on this matter, and I do not have any intention of being forgiven. I will be entering military service on the 31st of May, and it seems like I am running away from the truth. I can only say that I will do my best to reflect on my actions and to be discharged as a better, more rationale person. I am truly sorry once again.

It is unclear if there is any involvement by KeSPA, the ruling body of Korean pro-StarCraft, which is currently locked in a power struggle with Blizzard over intellectual property rights to Blizzard's games. Blizzard recently ceased negotiations with KeSPA.

While Korean law only allows for surnames to be released, the community has ascertained that several high-profile players have been implicated including Ma Jae-Yoon aka Savior, one of the most successful players ever.

It is unclear how much each player made for their involvement, but it is reported that that the two individuals placing the fixed bets received 140 million Won ($123,000) in winnings.

Rumors within the community speculate that many more players could be involved or have even settled with KeSPA and the authorities to limit the exposure of the scandal, but no official information has been released to this end.

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