Just like “real sports”, eSports can be a tempting field, a place in which the famous players, the pros and even the couaches can get involved into serious crimes. Yes, you read that correctly, there are crimes in eSports and Starcraft II is no exception. Things can get very messy behind the curtains and sometimes authorities need to get involved so that the world knows: eSports crimes get punished, too.
The most recent events occurred in South Korea, where 12 players were arrested on Monday this week. What was the reason behind it? Fixing games. For those of you who are not familiar with fixing games, they are games that are settled before they begin. With the right amount of money and pressure, team X will lose in favor of team y, and some people know about that for days, or even months before the match.
The scandal involved a local Starcraft team known as Prime. As soon as they were discovered to have been behind fixed matches, they were arrested and received a permanent ban from playing the game. Remember kids: eSports crimes get punnihed, too. The team coach was also arrested, as the authorities found out that he was involved in the fix as well.
South Korea is a very different country when it comes to video games. While the rest of the world can frown upon them and consider them a waste of time, the Korean culture has come to embrace them and encourage its players to become the best of the best. There are two simple conditions, however: be good and be fair. Not being good can be forgiven, but not being fair and cheating is inexcusable.
The eSports community is a rather fragile one, as it is mostly run by young people who are very aware that the games are simply games, But the wrong mentality comes in after you have gained a certain amount of fame and it can be difficult to control it.
It is very easy to jump from “it’s just a game, I can lose from time to time” to “it’s just a game, I can lose 2 games for $26,000”. Because this is exactly what happened. One of the players, known as YoDa, received this exact sum, or even more, to lose just two games. The stakes are high and when we are talking about such amounts of money, things are getting really tempting.
Luckily, the community is actively combating acts such as these ones. eSports is still in its young years, but if they are treated as they should be, confidence will grow and to Korean mentality can grow to a worldwide one. In time, with baby steps, we hope that such events will never occur again.
Photo Credits wikimedia.org