KeSPA offices have been raided as part of an investigation into embezzlement of KeSPA funds as well as bribes received by aides of a former KeSPA chairman. The reports have surfaced in multiple Korean publications, including Hankyoreh, Seoul Economic Daily and JTBC News.
The reports suggest that the investigation is looking into a sponsorship deal between Lotte Homeshopping, worth 300 million Korean won. Lotte Homeshopping sponsored the second season of the 2015 KeSPA Cup. It is also looking into the embezzlement of Association funds.
The Hankyoreh article suggests that associates of the former KeSPA Chairman had received payments worth multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars from Lotte Homeshopping outside of the sponsorship deal. The report continues to reveal that Lotte Homeshopping’s operating license would have been renewed by the former Chairman who also held a parliamentary position.
It’s worth noting that this is not the first time that Lotte Homeshopping have been investigated, or had negative news surrounding them. Back in 2016, the company’s CEO was indicted following an investigation into “creating secret funds” and submitting fictional business plans.
It’s more news that doesn’t shine brightly upon the Korean e-Sports Association, following news that the association lost its spot on the Integrated Korean Olympic Committee as recently as last month. Whilst the association hopes to regain its spot amongst the ranks, with allegations around embezzlement it’s likely to become increasingly more difficult.
Esports Insider says: A big blow for KeSPA, as an esports body gets found out for shady activity. When there’s discussions around governance and infrastructure for regulating the esports industry, it’s always important to remember that several high profile federations in traditional sports have been rightly dragged through the mud.