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Top StarCraft 2 champion indicted in second match-fixing probe

Ten-time champion accused of taking $60,000 to throw two games

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

South Korean authorities have indicted 10 persons, including two top StarCraft 2 players, at the end of a second investigation into esports match-fixing in that country.

The report, as translated by Team Liquid, alleges Lee "Life" Seung Hyun (pictured) received 70,000,000 South Korean won (roughly $60,000) to intentionally lose two matches in May 2015, and Bung "Bbyong" Woo Yong, 23, was paid the equivalent of $26,000 to throw one in January of this year. Another former StarCraft pro, Sun "Enough" Jun Mo, 34, was accused of being Life's benefactor, and also of profiting from bets on the fixed match.

Six others, characterized as those who made the payoffs, others who brokered the arrangements, and a third who bet on the inside information to win money, were also indicted. An 11th person, described as a financial backer, is at large and has yet to be indicted.

Life, 19,  is a 10-time tournament champion with victories in the Intel Extreme Masters, the Blizzard Cup, Major League Gaming and other circuits. For purposes of comparison, his winnings in 2015's premier and major-class tournamentswere $110,000, or about $50,000 more than he was allegedly paid to tank the two games.

This investigation began in January following the apprehension of a broker connected to an earlier case from October, in which another 11 were indicted and two players from the same team, Prime, were handed lifetime bans by the Korean eSports Association, or KeSPA. In that case, Sun ("Enough") has already been convicted and was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for three years.

The latest report describes in detail how the fixes were arranged and paid off. Brokers reached out to pro gamers under the pretense of being fans, and after striking up a relationship, arranged meetings with the financial backers for the purpose of fixing games.

These brokers later transmitted the funds to the pros on the take, and placed bets for the backers, using multiple online betting sites to place multiple bets on the same match. Bets paid out at roughly 1.3 to 1.5 times the the original amount, and the largest individual bet was 1 million won, or roughly $87,000.

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