Five members of a Valorant esports team from Singapore have been suspended from the professional scene following the discovery that they wagered against their own team in a tournament last year. The Straits Times reports that Malcolm “Germsg” Chung of Team Resurgence led the scheme, placing $3,000 in bets on an illegal online gambling site.
Chung wagered that his team would lose 0-2 to Japanese team BlackBird Ignis in the Valorant Ignition Series Epulze Royal Sea Cup in a match on September 22, 2020. That’s exactly what happened, with Chung saying that he was “not even trying” to win and claiming that he would be safe as long as his manager didn’t suspect him.
Chung’s bets were funded by another competitive player, Ryan “dReamy” Tan, who is not a part of Resurgence. Both men have been suspended from competitive Valorant for three years. Chung told four of his five teammates about the bets, and the Straits Times reports that they “did not want to lose, but hid what they allegedly knew from officials as they were concerned about penalties and risking their professional gaming career contracts.” Two of them received one-year bans, while the other two received six-month bans.
Resurgence broke up a month after the tournament and was rebranded as RSG in November. Its major sponsors include Lenovo, Secretlab, and Pizza Hut. A spokesperson for the organization said that it takes match-fixing accusations very seriously and “cooperated fully with the investigations.” Riot Games echoed that sentiment, saying that it “take[s] any violation of our rules of play very seriously.”
Even the Singapore government weighed in, with the country’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) stating that it “will not hesitate to take stern action against any parties involved if evidence of match-fixing through bribery is established.” That action could include five years’ jail time and a fine of up to $100,000, while the penalties for illegal online gambling could include six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.