Match-Fixing Scandal Hits South Korean Video Games

from the where-there-is-money-to-be-made... dept

Online gaming is massively popular in South Korea, so much so that its popularity among teens — and their propensity to stay up all night playing them — is seen as serious social problem. But the country’s professional gaming leagues have been hit by a match-fixing scandal in which players and officials have allegedly taken bribes (via the BBC) from gamblers to throw games of StarCraft. The incredible popularity of StarCraft, and other online games, in Korea has created enough interest to fuel illegal gambling sites that bet on the outcome of matches between the country’s 12 pro teams. The maker of StarCraft, Blizzard, has been trying to take a cut of the TV revenues generated from the matches, a move that wasn’t well received in Korea. It looks like that spat might get precluded by the crumbling of the pro league.

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Comments on “Match-Fixing Scandal Hits South Korean Video Games”

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taoareyou (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s only stupid if as a pro venue if there is not enough interest to make it profitable. Just because it doesn’t interest *some* people is not enough to consider it stupid. If that was the case, every sport would be stupid: Nascar (where the only reason you watch is to see an accident, well I’m sure some people are entertained by watching cars drive in a circle for hours), golf (quietly watching someone hit a ball every 10 to 15 min, awesome), even big sports like basketball/baseball/football do not interest everyone.

Pro video gaming has a market, and it’s a profitable business, which is why it exists. Which is exactly the same for any pro entertainment.

Jason (user link) says:

Re: Pro

Pro teams for video games is as stupid as pro teams for sports.

Watching a pro team compete in a game is as stupid as watching a pro team compete in a game.

Professional players are stupid, and no one takes them seriously.

As you say, the Super Bowl is a waste. Hockey is dumb. Chess is ignored by businesses world wide! People don’t enjoy watching competition. It’s boring. Tiger Woods, who cares? Tennis what? Starcraft is so lame.

Nascar is the only worth while competition.

Fantasy Island says:


No, Bacon is correct. Fantasy leagues ARE stupid. They’re entertaining to some, but they are stupid. You have no control over ANY aspect – sometimes, not even your picks.

It’s frail egos that need to associate themselves with something larger and greater than themselves so that they feel better about themselves when “their” team wins… even though they have absolutely no influence on the outcome.

It’s like saying… “Yah… my sun beat your moon because it’s daytime!”

Think of the countless wasted hours that could be used doing SOMETHING productive…. finding a cure for cancer, writing a symphony, helping the homeless… spending time with your wife or kids….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Stupid

So you don’t have a hobby you enjoy outside of work? I mean if you did then cures for cancer would never materialize, your latest symphony will never be heard, the homeless stay hungry…and your wife and kids are always asking when you’ll be home from work. Must be hard being the saint you text to be.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Stupid

Of course people can have hobbies; and spectator sports can be a great way to unwind (read: excuse to drink booze). But I think he was getting at the fact that the set of people who scream for NOHMAH GARSEEPERAH NUMBAH 5 and the set of people who will cure cancer is mutually exclusive.

taoareyou (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Stupid

“You wanted to see me sir?”

“Yes. I know you are the lead for our cancer cure team, and you are so close to finding the cure, but we are going to have to let you go.”


“We have learned that you play fantasy football. You cannot possibly be part of the team that will cure cancer.”

“Oh why oh why did I have to throw away my life with stupid fantasy football!!!?? Now millions will die because of my selfish choices!”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Stupid

Dungeon and dragons tabletop games are stupid. You have no control over what the DM says or does.

Amateur car racing is stupid. You have no control over what draw you get from race to race.

Skydiving is stupid. You have no control over gravity.

Knitting circles are stupid. That old bitty Gerta is always picking the wrong color thread and you have no control over it.

Now excuse me while I go end world hunger. I’m pretty sure I have total control over that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Stupid

Fantasy sports are usually enjoyable because they increase the excitement of the games you’re watching. Ask any fantasy football player if it makes watching games between non-home teams more exciting. I’m almost positive the majority of them will say, “Yes.” That’s why people play.

There is also SOME skill in it. I have a friend who’s quite good at it and always places quite well across multiple years. It’s a statistically small sample, but it’s just as valid as claiming there’s no skill in it.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Stupid

This is all true, but it seems the fantasy sports fans don’t care about the actual game anymore. They don’t care about a beautiful play, or even whether it’s the Steelers who win or the Dolphins. What they care about is whether their 4 players in the game do well personally. Maybe this is not a problem and it’s just how the game is changing in its relationship with its fans, but it just seems strange to me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Extreme ironing? How ’bout a youtube link?

But seriously, a youtube search on “starcraft tournament” or does yield a Korean TV program plus various starcraft games with voice-over commentary.

I’m guessing this sort of thing seems to appeal to practitioners only– which suggests that there are alot of practitioners in Korea…

Now if they can bring in some elements of reality TV into this (players personalities, reactions, etc), they really might have something…

Danny says:


I’m just waiting for the first story to come up about a pro StarCraft player that gets his index and middle fingers broken by hired muscle because he owed some money.

Or maybe a story about a player being found at the bottom of a lake with his thumbs encased in cement (cement gloves instead of cement shoes).

Or maybe a Pulp Fiction conversation:
“Now I want to say, ‘My ass goes down in the thrid against the Zerg.'”
“My ass goes down in the third against the Zerg.”

English Teacher in Korea says:

Take everything you read on the Korean Times with a huge grain of salt. The KT works with the Anti English Spectrum to harass foreign English teachers working in Korea. They’ve helped have laws passed so that teachers are HIV and marijuana tested, followed, and our trash gets gone through while they look for used condoms. Pretty juvenile stuff but with actual repercussions.

It’s like posting a link to Fox only if Fox also posted British Page 3 girls. They also take AP articles and mark them as KT originals. At least they’ve stopped posting Weekly World News articles as their own.

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