The boy who cheated death: Promise and AHQ Korea

It´s a long way down. At the top of the twelve-story building stands Promise. It is almost absurd to think of. One step forward and you fall to your death.

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It´s a long way down. At the top of the twelve-story building stands Promise. It is almost absurd to think of. One step forward and you fall to your death. Promise takes that step forward, the ground below his feet vanishes and the drop begins


In March 2014 , Promise and AHQ Korea entered peoples radar for all the wrong reasons.  Caught in a web of lies AHQ Korea coach Noh was on the run while being investigated by Korean police for matchfixing. Meanwhile, the adc of AHQ Korea, known as Promise, is writing the final words of his suicide letter before throwing himself off a building.


Building a lie: AHQ Korea

AHQ Korea was formed on February 15th, 2013 to compete in OGN. The team consisted of Trace, ActScene, Hoon , Promise and Loray and coached and managed by No Dae Chul also known as NoH. It was a dream come true for these young players, especially Promise and ActScene who were quite new to the pro scene. Here they were, a team in the OGN sponsored by Taiwanese powerhouse AHQ with cash and computers. The problem was, it was all a lie.  As the OGN tournament began , coach NoH gathered the players and informed them they must lose to the big orgs in the tournament, mainly KT, SKT and CJ Frost(The group consisted of AHQ, KT, SKT, CJF, IM and Najin). The players did not understand, but NoH told them that if they didn´t then OGN would pull them out of the tournament. There was simply no option that a big org could lose to a small org, brand value must be maintained. Midlaner Hoon who had already been pro with Najin told his team he could not go through with it, he was a professional. That night coach NoH called Promise and ActScene and once again told them “Lose, for the future of the team”. They both decided to do it, scared of losing their status as pro players. So they lost, 1-2 to both KT and CJ Frost. As time went on the coach started acting more mysterious and got into more and more arguments with Hoon. The rest of the team thought it was just Hoons personality that got him into arguments, truth was that Hoon, having previously lived in a pro environment, knew that something was off and this was not the way for a team to behave or live. After a game against SKT coach NoH decided to randomly sell 3 computers, when the players asked why, he would simply answer “AHQ wants their money back, and btw the gas and water will be cut off soon”. What the hell was going on?


Team Toto and the truth

The players decided to take matters in their own hands and called AHQ Headquarters in Taiwan. A puzzled spokesperson explained to them that AHQ was only giving them some free gear and permission to use the name. They had never given any cash or computers. The reality was that NoH had created the team in a hope of making quick money. The team was created and funded by his own money and loans taken in his own name. His plan was to bet against AHQ on Toto, a shady semi-illegal booking site. Kespa had of course never told AHQ to lose on purpose in the OGN tournament. When he started to get cornered he started to sell stuff to pay back the loansharks. The comment on gas and water being cut was his way of trying to get the players to leave. The plan? Sell everything and run for the hills. The truth hit Promise like a wall of bricks.

This is it…..

With the community slowly getting to know the truth, they lashed at Promise and co. To most of us the choice Promise would make seems crazy in comparison to the “crime” commited, but honor in asia is a huge thing. Unable to live with what he had done, Promise decided to write a suicide note saying goodbye and telling the story of how they got scammed. It is worth noting that promise came from a poor family and that his father had walked out on him as a teenager. Pro gaming was his way out. A faithful day in March,  Left with nothing but sadness and guilt, Promise started climbing the stairwell towards the rooftop. One can only imagine what goes through the head of a man standing on a rooftop  looking down at certain death. Promise jumped and that should have been it, but it wasn´t.



Walking past the small recycle center, the man notices a sound. Listening closer he hears a weak “help me” from inside the recycling center. As he opens the door he spots the body of Promise who is drifting in and out of consciouness. He immediately  calls an ambulance, and Promise is rushed to the hospital where he slips into a coma. Promise comes out of his coma and is declared stable, he is however unable to speak and his body has multiple fractures from the fall. Slowly he gets better and becomes able to speak, meanwhile reddit launches a massive “help promise” fund raiser to donate to promise to pay medical bills etc. which is a huge success and in return Promise makes a reddit AMA and a thank you post. The community outcry was massive when Kespa ended up announcing that they would investigate Promise and only promise(of the players) for the matchfixing. No Dae Chul was later arrested by Korean police and is to stand trial for charges on conspiracy to commit fraud and extortion.

The theories

Two theories have been presented regarding Promises suicide attempt. Both quite likely. The first one argues that Promise did not jump due to matchfixing but simply due to being generally depressed and having psychological problems. I feel certain that there is a large amount of truth to this, however i am also certain that the match fixing was part of it, if nothing else it was the thing that pushed him over the edge(no pun intended) . The second theory involves Promise did not want to die, consciously or subconsciously. Everything around the building was concrete pavement, except for the one spot he jumped. In other words, Promise for one reason or another made sure to drop in a spot where the roof of the recycling centre would soften his fall. obviously if you make that jump from the same spot 10 times you would most likely die 8 of them, so my guess is that somehow subconsciously he was guided to that exact spot. In conclusion i would just like to say that matchfixing is a big deal especially in asia, this was an example of what happens in extreme cases. Nontheless there is most likely lots of matchfixing going on at this very moment, the problem is it is really hard to uncover.