In a surprise announcement made on Chinese social media site Weibo, the LDL has announced its temporary suspension for “reorganisation.” While not explicitly mentioned, the writing on the wall all but condemns this suspension as an attempt to deal with multiple allegations of rampant match-fixing and corruption.
LDL will be temporarily suspended for reorganization ðŸ˜¢ pic.twitter.com/hRFKl8xke8— Evelynnnnnn (@Evelynmmmmmm) March 16, 2021
While match-fixing has been caught and punished before, as with former Rogue Warriors’ player Wang “WeiYan” Xiang and Team WE’s Xiang “Condi” Ren-Jie most notably, large-scale investigations have thus far been avoided, or brushed under the carpet. That appears to be set to change.
Matchfixing has been rampant in LDL for a while— Kelsey Moser (èŽ«å‡¯è¥¿) (@karonmoser) March 16, 2021
This is sadly a necessary step, but wow, it's pretty nuts that this happened https://t.co/WYEpf8FWq3
The decision was likely precipitated after the high-profile suspension of rookie superstar Jungler, Zhou “Bo” Yang-Bo, who joined former world champions FunPlus Phoenix this year having impressed during his time on eStar Young in the LDL in 2020.
Bo claimed that early in his career he was forced to fix matches. (Picture: FunPlus Pheonix)
Bo came forward and admitted to being coerced into match-fixing during his time on eStar Young, and was thus indefinitely suspended by FPX while an investigation into the claims could be conducted. It is important to state that these claims of match-fixing do not implicate FPX, however.
Bo’s high-profile admission sparked a furore that has forced the LDL to act. Where previously match-fixing and other allegations of corruption have not led to wider investigations, that is no longer an option.
Match-fixing has been an uncomfortable open secret in the lower levels of the Chinese LoL and wider Asian esports scene (look to the match-fixing scandals of Savior in StarCraft, or captainMo’s claims he was pressured to fix in CS:GO), and the LDL’s suspension marks one of the first major attempts to root out corruption on a large scale.