eSports, Corruption, and Speaking Out

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Ryukouki, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    So this bit surprised me. First off, I apologize for my absence. Had to deal with some other things off-site. I was going to take a small break to catch up with my own life, but this piece really got my attention earlier today. For those of you wondering, this guy is Cheon Min-Ki, a pro-level League of Legends player hailing from South Korea. From what I have heard, this young man is good enough to be considered the top 0.5% in the world. As of this morning, he attempted suicide by jumping off a twelve story building. Why? It turns out, the team he represented, AHQ Korea, was a sham team that made profits off of losing (fixing games) and then making profits off of the underdog winnings. Min-Ki was not directly responsible for the incident, however. This guy's teammates and himself were basically strung along for the ride, leaving his manager, Noh Dae Chul, responsible for the crimes. I'll discuss more about this after the break, but this case definitely is interesting as it shows how some aspects of gaming are not as clean-cut as we would like to imagine.​
    From what I have seen right now, Min-Ki is in critical condition, with severe head and back injuries. He left a rather in-depth suicide note detailing the problems he was facing with his manager. This was translated from a Reddit thread, after being posted from a Korean Legends community. It's a really fascinating read, though very unfortunate, and I sincerely hope this guy recovers because he has guts for doing this.​
    Detailing the Extent of Corruption
    This poor guy had a disadvantaged background, and his manager was basically using his talents to become rich, holding their pride as skilled game players over their heads. It turns out that their equipment, their housing, their salaries, were all loans that the manager took out. They were never sponsored officially by AHQ, only their equipment which gave them the naming rights to the team. Riot did issue a statement declaring that it would spare no expenses in the recovery of this fellow, and a police investigation regarding the game fixing is currently underway.

    With that in mind, it seems a bit harsh, how gaming defined his life and because of the mountain of problems he was undergoing, it led him to jump off the roof of a building. Which leads me conveniently into my issues: corruption in eSports, and the fear of speaking out.

    When thinking about the corruption issue, it's sad when you see people who are so disadvantaged financially, being taken advantage of; having their talents utilized for someone else's greed, playing the game that they love. This corruption issue is supposedly rampant in these types of games, with people making illegal bets on these games, something punishable by jail time. It's weird, because if the issue is so rampant as people say, why are these guys not being better educated on the issue? What right do people have in justifying this? How could you justify ruining the lives of people for greed? Some people sardonically criticize eSports, thinking that there's no real skill involved with these types of games, and yet these tournaments have huge payouts that could set a player up for life financially after a few big wins.

    Speaking out is also a bit of a problem in these gaming groups. There are some articles that describe players being tortured (yes, tortured, with pain) over poor gaming results. This Reddit thread details some of those incidents as well, about players being caned, being beaten for performing badly. Min-Ki definitely set off some waves with this incident. To you, though, would it be worth speaking out, risking your life, to detail this sort of corruption and fear that exists in such a society? Is it worth dealing with the backlash, or is it better to keep the head down and simply continue forward?

    Personally, I'd like to wish this guy a safe recovery, and hope that this manager ends up in prison. At the end of the day, though, there are some who claim that this is typical eSports, which has some concerns as, when you look at it, people are dying or getting injured over a game! Where do you guys stand in terms of this? Have you heard of this incident yet? I'm definitely fascinated with the idea of corruption that occurs in the video gaming industry, but this just seems out of the ordinary as someone almost died for it. Chime off in the comments below.

    :arrow:Source - Eurogamer
     
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  2. Black-Ice

    Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

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    Tbh the Korean/Chinese scene's are very very competitive.
    Thier Coaches/Managers aren't coaches/managers, they're overlords.
    Compared to EU/NA its a whole different ball game over there, its almost scary how intense it is.
    Promise has received loads of love from the west in the form of donations and what not. Hopefully he recovers well and tries to move on.


    As far as the western LoL pro scene goes, its a great experience to watch and be a part of. The LCS (League Championship series, basically the premier league) is something I watch weekly and its so much more fun to watch that most other sports.
    Riot have really worked on stopping corruption and evil boardroom tactics here but they need to up the efforts overseas because this isnt an isolated incident, its just a climatic one.
     
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  3. tbgtbg

    tbgtbg Shaking the ring ropes up in the sky

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    I don't really get the whole professional gaming thing in the first place, but wow, hope that guy recovers and gets some help so he doesn't try again.
     
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  4. Ericthegreat

    Ericthegreat Not New Member

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    You do know that this happens in all sports right....? Hope the guy is alright, but there was no reason he should commit suicide over it.... Also I wonder how much they were going to be paid to lose >.> ?
     
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Crass as it may seem I am half impressed; previously everything I saw as far as cheating and competition theory goes in computer games was not even amateur level.

    To that end, and not directed at the dude that failed to fly, welcome to the real world lads, we play by big boy rules here.
     
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  6. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Speaking of eSports, I'm thinking of attending Intel Extreme Masters on Saturday or Sunday - I could snap a couple photos if anyone's interested. ;)
     
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  7. WhiteMaze

    WhiteMaze GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    What a shame..

    The GBATemp community wishes you a fast and healthy recovery, Cheon Min-Ki.
     
  8. WiiCube_2013

    WiiCube_2013 GBAtemp Guru

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    He looks as though he's going to take part in an automobile race but nope, it's just video games.
     
  9. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    You give people video games, demand that no fun be allowed, dangle money and fame in their faces, and this is what you get.

    I can understand the appeal of professional gaming (I mean, I don't care for MOBAs or Starcraft, but I can at least see how it'd be interesting for people who are to watch), but I think it's become far too serious for its own good. With millions of dollars on the line and entire careers at stake, and true regulation being so difficult to implement and maintain, you have a recipe for disaster.

    It seems like there's another horror story from the esports scene every other week. Match rigging here, abuse there, at some point you have to wonder if it's even worth it at this point.
     
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  10. calmwaters

    calmwaters Cat's best friend

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    Well well; so a greedy bastard has been unmasked. It's a shame that such a tragic event would have to happen for something like this to be uncovered. Let that be a lesson to all you people: if you find something distasteful, reveal it to the public. The longer you live with it increases the stress of your daily life, enough to consider doing what this person did.

    And thank you Ryu for writing a piece: I was missing them. I like taking a break from reading all the shit on this site to read a well written article like yours. :) And I hope you have fun with your time away from here.
    Sure; sounds cool. You could get a cup of coffee and have a picture of that to go along with the other ones. ;)
    If people were as vocal as they believe themselves to be, we wouldn't have issues like these. But this is an imperfect world; especially this one: most of the world considers gamers to be like children who only want to be immersed in their games and thereby shut out the rest of society. And most children lack the gumption to stand up for themselves, mostly for fear that they'll be ostracized. I mean, it's a good goal for someone to be accepted into society, but only if they're allowed freedom of expression will they really be happy. It's not worth anyone's time to give up their personality to fit in with everyone else.
     
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  11. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Don't mind me, I just had to type out 32 pages of reports in the past week. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. WhiteMaze

    WhiteMaze GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Keep up the good work.

    (imagines himself in his position and shivers)
     
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  13. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Don't worry. Breaks come only every so often, as I need time to refresh the pool of creativity.
     
  14. WhiteMaze

    WhiteMaze GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    As a designer and artist, I understand that statement all too well.
     
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  15. Ulieq

    Ulieq GBAtemp Fan

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    Hilarious. I love games, but get a real job.
     
  16. Hyro-Sama

    Hyro-Sama I'm from the fucking future.

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    lol "eSports"

    I don't think I'll ever take that term seriously.
     
  17. WiiCube_2013

    WiiCube_2013 GBAtemp Guru

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    This sometimes is hard to define because there are jobs that are so ridiculous it's almost unreal they're considered "real jobs".
     
  18. AceWarhead

    AceWarhead "Must Construct Additional Pylons"

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    Another huge incident was back in the Brood War days, where people were found to have match fixed/betted, and it included a star player at that. Here is a link
    eSports in Korea is huge, and you have to look back on things like the Brood War scene to understand how important this stuff is to Korea.
    Nevertheless, unless a player union is made, this shit is going to keep on happening.
    Just a couple of months ago, a player Hyun was bascially left for dead by his team, with the manager running of and owing him around $25,000 in prize money
     
  19. WiiUBricker

    WiiUBricker Fake News Reporter

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    I don't understand. What does he mean by fixing games?
     
  20. Black-Ice

    Black-Ice Founder of the Church of Renamon

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    "You lose to this team and this team, they are big Korean team, pay big money for everlasting top of table fame, do it or big consequence!"

    as it basically says in the article

    The money these pro players make equates to pretty decent modern day salaries, it IS a real job with legit career paths branching out for retired players.
    Far more "real" than being a receptionist.