Two Men Arrested for Match-Fixing Offenses Related to China’s LPL
Two men from Australia have been reportedly charged with match-fixing offenses relating to the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) from June 2021. The detectives from the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit (SIIU) have charged these two men on summons in relation to an investigation into suspicious betting activity.
An official release by the Victoria Police stated that these men were allegedly arranging to throw matches and that a number of matches were impacted as a result.
Who was arrested?
According to the release, a 25-year-old Kingsville man was charged on summons for the offense of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes. Similarly, a 25-year-old Brooklyn man was also charged for the offense of engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of an event or event contingency.
The duo will reportedly face the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 26th September and police revealed that the investigation is ongoing. If found guilty, the duo will face up to ten years of imprisonment.
While the official statement does not specify which of the matches were impacted, it did state that it was about “activity linked to a number of matches in the League of Legends Pro League on 8 June of last year.”
Police work with esports stakeholders
Wayne Woltsche, Detective Acting Superintendent of the State Intelligence Division said, “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.”
Woltsche also added that the Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit has previously investigated suspicious activity linked to esports betting and that it remains an area of focus for them.
Additionally, the SIIU will continue to work with a number of esports stakeholders and betting agencies to target suspicious activity, the statement read. “It’s important that people understand these are significant criminal offenses with substantial penalties, and these charges show that we will take any reports of suspicious activity seriously,” added Woltsche.
The esports industry has been plagued with a number of match-fixing allegations and charges of late. In April, LGD Gaming mid-laner from attending or competing in all professional or semi-professional events by Riot Games, Tencent, or Tengjing Sports (TJ Sports) in any part of the world in any capacity with immediate effect.
The Chinese premier league has had a history of players, managers, and coaches being involved in match-fixing in the past. In 2021, players, managers, and coaches were issued various punishments ranging from suspensions to lifetime bans.