Singaporean Valorant Pro Convicted in Match-Fixing Scandal

Chung valorant

In a shocking turn of events, two Singaporean players have been convicted in a match-fixing scandal that has sent ripples through the esports community. The case centered around a VALORANT tournament during the 2020 Ignition Series, has raised concerns about integrity and fair play in competitive gaming. This article dives into the details of the conviction, highlighting the need for a robust response to combat match-fixing and preserve the credibility of esports.

Malcolm Chung Wai Kiat and Ryan Tan Shern’s Involvement

According to The Straits Time, Malcolm Chung Wai Kiat, 25, and Ryan Tan Shern, 21, found themselves at the center of a match-fixing scheme that unfolded during a professional VALORANT match. Initial reports indicate that Tan provided funds to Chung, who deliberately lost the match after placing bets on the outcome.

The relationship between Chung and Tan dates back six years when they were playing Counter-Strike. Unfortunately, Tan’s inability to repay a gambling-related debt of $740 (S$1,000) paved the way for their involvement in the match-fixing endeavor.

Desperate to recover the borrowed money, Tan sought a loan of $2,216 (S$3,000) from his brother, which he promptly transferred to Chung. During a significant VALORANT event, the Epulze Royal SEA Cup in September 2020, Chung used this cash to place five wagers against his own team. As the captain of the RSG Resurgence Esports’ VALORANT team, Chung’s underperformance and instruction to his teammates to do the same resulted in a devastating loss for their side.

The match-fixing charge specifically pertains to a game against BlackBird Ignis, where RSG Resurgence Esports suffered a 0-2 defeat. According to Deputy Public Prosecutor David Menon, Chung’s deliberate underperformance and manipulation of his teammates led to the loss. It’s worth noting that BlackBird Ignis featured three members of the current IGZIST roster, a team that achieved a seventh-place finish in split two of the VALORANT Challengers Japan 2023 tournament.

Legal Proceedings and Sentencing

Following suspicions of foul play, the match-fixing incident was brought to the attention of authorities in June 2021 when the COO of Resurgence filed a police report. On August 5, both Chung and Tan were charged with corruption. Tan pleaded guilty on January 5, while Chung was found guilty on May 26.

The sentencing reflects the severity of the offense. Tan will undergo a minimum of six months of reformative training, designed to rehabilitate individuals facing addiction. Chung, on the other hand, received a four-month prison sentence. These sentences are meant to discourage match-fixing in the future and convey the seriousness of its repercussions.

Comparing Punishments: Contrasting Outcomes

Drawing a comparison with a previous match-fixing case in the Australian scene, where Ty “junglew0w” O’Donnell and Eli Clarke were found guilty, reveals divergent outcomes. O’Donnell and Clarke received a 12-month “good behavior bond” and were required to repay the funds to the betting company, Ladbrokes, while also making donations to gambling support organizations. In contrast, Tan and Chung faced more severe penalties, highlighting the different approaches taken by authorities in addressing match-fixing within esports.

Implications for Esports and Riot Games’ Response

Interestingly, Riot Games, the company behind VALORANT, has not publicly issued any competitive or general bans against convicted players. However, it’s important to note that neither Tan nor Chung has competed professionally for over a year, potentially impacting their careers and reputations within the gaming community.

The recent conviction of these Singaporean individuals involved in the match-fixing scandal serves as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining integrity and fair play in esports. It shines a spotlight on the pressing issue of match-fixing within the gaming industry, calling for sustained efforts to combat such illicit activities.

By imposing significant penalties and fostering vigilance among esports organizations, tournament organizers, and gaming communities, the future of esports can be safeguarded as a fair and transparent competitive landscape.

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