RFRSH example

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

Richard Lewis released a video today talking about the conflicts of interest that is caused by RFRSH Entertainment owning multiple teams, future tournaments and other contractual stuff. In the video he used a theoretical example of two teams being owned by the same org (RFRSH) and one team stays in even if they lose and the other needs to win to stay or be relegated.

This isn’t a hypothetical, this has happened before. In WCS Season 2 of Korea, Rain was facing elimination in Group C ro16. It was a round robin format. He had been upset earlier by First and hyvaa. Fantasy had already lost both his games. Rain needed to win to move on. Fantasy was already eliminated and playing for nothing. Both players were on SKT. The inevitable happened as Rain beat Fantasy and forced tiebreakers which he then won to get out of the group and eventually came 2nd.

Now I’m not saying there is matachfixing, but there is certainly a large amount of doubt created because the benefits were so large that you have to question if SKT or even the players forced this or not. Even if we assume they weren’t, the players themselves might had an agreement or subconsciouly tried to force these results to pass. In Korea, it was almost taboo to pick teammates in group nominations in GSL even if your teammate was the clear easy win to move forward in the tournament. At the same time, Korean culture is such that you have to try hard even if you have no chance to move on. This has happened multiple times in SC2 where an already eliminated player continued to play his hardest and won his meaningless games that changed the result of the group.

I’m not saying that there was matchfixing. What little I know about Fantasy and Rain leads me to believe there wasn’t and Rain was a much superior player to Fantasy at the time. But I think it’s worth it to remove all doubt which is why eliminating conflict of interest is so important.

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Slingshot senior columnist. StarCraft and CS:GO expert who pushes narratives over numbers.

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