Jan 29 2016 - 3:15 pm

Top Korean StarCraft player Life questioned by match-fixing investigators

One of the best StarCraft players in world is currently being questioned by prosecutors in South Korea as what appears to be another match-fixing scandal threatens to hit the game
Morning Editor

One of the best StarCraft players in world is currently being questioned by prosecutors in South Korea as what appears to be another match-fixing scandal threatens to hit the game.

Former World Championship Series and Global StarCraft League champion Lee "Life" Seung Hyun was brought in earlier today in Changwon, according to a statement from the Korean esports association KESPA. While the reason for the arrest has not been revealed, he has been brought in for questioning by the same prosecutors currently conducting an ongoing investigation into match-fixing that yielded several convictions last year.

Details are scarce, but KESPA say that they are cooperating with the authorities and will not allow Hyun to compete again until the case is resolved. With official statements only available in Korean, it is unclear if Hyun is under arrest or simply being questioned.

The threat of fresh allegations come just a few months after the last wave of controversy to hit the Korean esports scene. In October, PRIME head coach Park "Gerrard" Wae-Sik and players Choi "YoDa" Byeong-Heon and Choi "BBoongBBoong" Jong-Hyuk were banned for life for fixing multiple matches in the early months of 2015.

Match-fixing has long plagued the Korean StarCraft scene. In 2010, eleven players were implicated in a match-fixing ring led by Ma "sAviOr" Jae Yoon that led to millions of won in fines and worldwide media attention. Many believe the scene has never fully recovered.

Hyun has been one of the most decorated players in the game in recent years, winning the WCS, GSL and IEM Taipei. Just yesterday he completed a transfer from KT Rolster to Afreeca—though KESPA have stressed that neither organization was aware the player was under investigation.

Correction 10:05am CT Jan. 29: It's not yet clear if Life has been arrested or brought in for questioning. We regret the oversight.

Update 9:40am CT, Jan. 31: Prosecutors have confirmed that Hyun has been arrested on charges of receiving money to fix matches last year.

Image by Helena Kristiansson via ESL/Flickr (All rights reserved, used with permission)

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