Overwatch player and coach booked without detention in South Korea after match fixing

The player manager and coach of Korean Overwatch squad Luminous Solar have been booked without detention in South Korea after attempting to qualify for the OGN Overwatch APEX Challenger Season 2 by match fixing. This was initially reported by Inven, and translated by ESPN. 

Image courtesy of Blizzard

The criminal charge specified by the Gyeonggi Bukbu Provincial Police Agency was interference with business. Both the player and coach have already been banned by OGN, following an internal investigation conducted last February. The investigation related to the wildcard qualifier quarter finals between Luminous Solar and UnLimited which the former won. 

The evidence suggests that Jin Seok-hoon and Baek Min-jeh offered sponsorship for UnLimited should they agree to forfeit the match. It was also discovered that they produced a fraudulent doctor’s certificate in order to field a last minute substitute in the match. The player from UnLimited, Choi Yoon-soo was also banned from participating for the next season of OGN Overwatch APEX Challenger.

It’s not the first and it likely won’t be the last example of match fixing in esports. Whilst bodies such as ESIC are working hard to ensure players are educated about the perils of match fixing it still remains a risk and the aforementioned case shows just how seriously it can, and should be dealt with. 

Over the weekend the first iteration of Beyond the Summit’s CS_Summit saw Cloud9 play with Braxton “swag” Pierce, a player banned from Valve-sponsored events having been found guilty of match fixing. The discussion of cheating versus match fixing has been prevalent in the community as people tend to see cheating as the worst possible sin. Simply put, the example above is exactly why match fixing is more serious. In most sports across the world it’s a criminal offence to be involved in match fixing whilst cheating, i.e. performance enhancing drugs are often not dealt with on a criminal level.

Esports Insider says: Hopefully this doesn’t become a common occurrence. This goes to show how severe match fixing is and how ruthlessly it can be dealt with.