Tampering isn’t an issue exclusive to traditional sports.
The championship hopes of LGD Gaming in China’s LoL Pro League (LPL) took a huge hit today. Qu “Styz” Ziliang, the team’s marksman and star player, is now banned for one year after he was found to be illegally communicating with another club.
Presumably, that kind of contact was to discuss a transfer, and Qu is still under contract with LGD Gaming. That’s a breach of the regulations set by the Association of China E-Sports (ACE).
LGD Gaming placed fifth in the Spring season of the LPL, giving them high hopes for the upcoming Summer season. But Qu was one of LGD’s star players, and they’ll be hard pressed to break into the top four without him in the lineup.
Ambitious pro gamers have gotten in trouble before for tampering.
Last year, Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg was fined $2,000 for approaching Lemondog’s mid laner Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm to replace Bjerg’s open spot on the Ninjas in Pyjamas roster. NiP had transferred Bjerg to Team SoloMid, and wanted him to find a competitive replacement. But Bjerg was a bit negligent in his search; Våtevik Holm was under contract at the time, so circumventing Lemondogs’ management led to Bjerg’s penalty.
This instance seems a little more devious. Qu reportedly ignored his contractual obligations in a bid to sabotage his status with LGD Gaming and get him released from his contract. Now, he’s stuck with them. In addition to the year ban, ACE has frozen Qu’s contract, so the marksman will still be under LGD Gaming control for at least a season when his ban is up in 2015.
While other players have suffered year-long bans and returned to competitive play, like Curse Gaming jungler Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera, who was suspended from the League Championship Series for one year due to toxic behavior, it looks like Qu may have sabotaged his promising young career. And that’s too bad.