Professional StarCraft Video Game Players Accused of Accepting Bribes in South Korea

Saturday, April 17, 2010
StarCraft tournament in South Korea

A huge scandal involving allegations of game rigging and bribery has erupted in South Korea, where online video entertainment attracts serious, big-money players. South Korea has professional leagues associated with 21 different video games, but the most popular is StarCraft, which accounts for 70% of the nation’s e-sports and has five separate leagues. Matches in the leading, 12-team StarCraft league are televised live with players dressed in astronaut-like uniforms.

 In what may turn out to be the biggest controversy in the Asian country’s electronic sports industry, professional gamers, former players and officials have been charged with fixing game results in return for payoffs. Gamblers reportedly approached gamers on several local teams and arranged illegal payments, including bribes for those gamers who agreed to work as middle-men between gambling interests and other players. The Korea e-Sports Association (KeSPA) filed charges last month, but it is not yet clear if active players are being investigated.
StarCraft is produced by an American company, Blizzard Entertainment. The South Korean situation is complicated by the imminent, much-anticipated launch of StarCraft II and an intellectual property dispute between Blizzard and KeSPA.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
StarCraft Rigging Scandal Hits e-Sports Industry (by Kim Hyun-cheol, Korea Times)
StarCraft Gambling Scandal Hits e-Sports Industry (by Aaron “AJ” Biggs,


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