The LDL, the LPL’s development league, will be suspended indefinitely starting March 17, the LPL announced today.
One suspected reason could be the recent match-fixing issues that came to light after FPX’s jungler Zhou “Bo” Yang-Bo was suspended from competing by the league last month. The rookie jungler said he was “coerced into match-fixing while in the LDL,” according to a translation of the official FPX Weibo post by iCrystalization.
Match-fixing issues aren’t new to the LDL. There were other cases in the past, notably involving Wang “WeiYan” Xiang from Rogue Warriors, who was banned for 24 months following match-fixing allegations last year. His team was also fined around $420,000 for failing to ensure that their players and staff followed the league rules.
Another prominent case involved LGD Gaming’s jungler Xiang “Condi” Ren-Jie, who was suspended for 18 months for placing a bet on the outcome of an LGD game during the NEST tournament. He said afterward that he recognized his actions were a serious mistake and acknowledged that he deserved to be punished.
Bo was one of the most prominent prospects this split and his potential brought a lot of attention to him. By investigating these match-fixing allegations before going forward with the development league, the LPL is most likely looking to avoid harming its image in the long run.
With many young players making only a fraction of what the LPL players are earning, the temptations seem to be too high for them to pass up. Unless serious changes are made within the scene, cases like this could continue to appear in the future.
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