Two 25-year-old Australian men have been arrested on alleged match fixing offenses. They've been charged with two different counts of match fixing. One being the “use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes” and the other being “engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of event or event contingency.”
Both men were taken in by Victorian Police on May 17, 2022. They are suspected of fixing and betting on LPL Games from June 2021.
The police were tipped off by a betting agency after suspicious behavior was noted pertaining to matches in the League of Legends Pro League on June 8, 2021.
In the police report, Detective Acting Superintendent, Wayne Woltsche stated that the "Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit has previously investigated suspicious activity linked to esports betting, and it remains an area of focus for us."
According to the Victoria police report, both men could face up to 10-years in prison if found guilty of the charges. The two will be tried in September 2022 and the investigation is still ongoing until then.
Which Teams Were Playing?
It was not specified in the police reports which games were apparently fixed and bet upon, but looking at last year's LPL schedule shows that there were two matches that took place on June 8, 2021.
The first match was a 2-0 sweep by Rare Atom over Oh My God, while the second match saw EDward Gaming facing BiliBili Gaming and winning 2-1. As mentioned, which games are in question was not specified.
Not The First Instance of Match Fixing
LPL Related Match Fixing Scandals
The LPL has had its fair share of known match fixing scandals. The biggest came in 2021 when 38 players and coaches in both the LPL, as well as their developmental league, the LDL, were banned by Riot for systemic match fixing.
LGD mid laner Chen "Jay" Bo was also banned for suspected match fixing in April 2022. This continues to be a problem in professional League of Legends and esports in general.
Esports Match Fixing in Australia
This match fixing scandal is also not the first to hit the news in Australia. The police is working alongside betting agencies to find more offenders in the future as well.
Esports is an emerging sporting industry that only continues to get more popular, however with that also comes an increase not only in those wanting to bet on outcomes, but also in those willing to try and take advantage of the systems for their own gain.
In 2019, Victorian Police arrested six Counter-Strike players, who were charged in May 2020. So, while esports is young, there is enough money in the industry for match fixing to become an issue.