Match fixing in Korean esports has taken various forms from using brokers, past friendships, and at times even from an organization itself. Apparently there is a new way of trying to lure players into match fixing now: Attractive women.
According to a report from OSEN, prospective match fixers attempted to lure a Korean StarCraft player by having a woman, pretending to be an eager fan, invite him to drinks. The player was later approached by a man trying to entice the player into match fixing. The player, or his team was not identified in the report, but he was identified as a player in the StarCraft II Pro League.
For professional gamers, dating fans in Korea is seen as a taboo, kind of an unwritten law. Besides that, when a relationship comes to happen, players often have no time to spend with their significant other, and from both the player and their partner, the schedule takes a mental toll. From the player’s perspective, a relationship might play a role in his own downfall.
The first red flag in this particular instance, however, was that the fan had little knowledge of the game and even about the pro gamer she was talking to, according to OSEN. But the player still met her outside the confines of a fan meeting, which can be harmless, but in this case become quite problematic when the two later met for drinks.
Pretending as a coincidence, another male fan came to the table with the player and the fan to talk about illegal gambling, progressing into match fixing. The moment the player heard that, he left the table and reported the incident to his organization, which then passed it along to the Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA), the country’s governing body of esports. Nothing else has happened, as the identity of the alleged parties is not known, but it is troubling for many in the scene.
In light of the recent match fixing scandal involving StarCraft pro Lee “Life” Seung-Hyun, who was arrested and found guilty of purposely losing games, the topic has remained on the minds of Korean esports fans. With new ways of offering the temptation of match fixing to young players, there seems to be a larger need for awareness among players and teams alike to protect esports from future match fixing scandals.