If you take a fall, someone will catch you, eventually. StarCraft is huge in South Korea, even with the rise of MOBAs, and that means it’s worth a lot of money. Professional gaming is still something dominated by younger players – young adults who might be swayed more easily by cash waved in front of their faces.
That seems to be just what happened with Lee “Life” Seung Hyun, one of ten people indicted by South Korean authorities for fixing esports matches.
According to the translated report, Life was paid the equivalent of about $60,000 to throw a pair of matches in 2015. The others indicted were involved in the brokering and payoffs.
Life is a 19 year-old player with, according to his wiki page, 10 championship wins under his belt. His lifetime winnings are north of $300,000, which is enough that the money would still be pretty tempting while also being a dumb idea.
It’s disappointing to see a well-liked player brought in for something like this, but it’s a reminder that this kind of corruption can find its way into just about any competition.