SINGAPORE — A 20-year-old man pleaded guilty in the district court on Friday (6 January) for concocting a plan for his creditor to throw a VALORANT esports tournament match.
The Straits Times reported that Ryan Tan Shern (who went by Dreamycsgo in game), pled guilty to one count of corruption, with another charge under the Remote Gambling Act being taken into consideration during his sentencing.
District Judge Soh Tze Bian called for reports to assess Tan’s suitability for probation and reformative training. According to The Straits Times, the judge noted that it was rare to see corruption cases involving youths.
Plot to throw VALORANT esports match to repay debt
The charges involved a match in the Epulze Royal Southeast Asia Cup, part of the VALORANT Ignition Series, one of the first official tournaments for Riot Games' first-person shooter after its release in June 2020. The game involves two teams of five players competing to attack and defend in-game sites across different maps.
According to the report, Tan had borrowed $1,000 in August 2020 from Malcolm Chung Wai Kiat (known as Germsg in-game) to fund his gambling habit, but was unable to repay him when asked.
The pair had known each other since 2014, having previously played the first-person shooter Counter-Strike together. They were also on Resurgence's VALORANT roster in 2020.
On 22 September 2020, a day after he had been asked for the return of $400, Tan suggested that Chung throw Resurgence’s match against the team Blackbird Ignis from Japan, while betting on his team to lose.
Tan took a loan from his brother and transferred $3,000 Chung’s account, agreeing that Chung would place bets with the money and retain a share of the winnings.
Chung placed five bets totalling $3,000 using his account on an unlawful remote gambling service, winning $7,109 and keeping $2,319 for himself after Resurgence lost the match.
Match-fixing allegations surfaced, Riot Games investigation
After the match, match-fixing allegations surfaced, leading to Riot Games launching an investigation.
This resulted in Chung and Tan being banned from participating in VALORANT tournaments for 36 months, while four other teammates received suspensions of between six months and one year.
Following the release of Riot's investigation, on June 24, 2021, the chief operating officer of Resurgence lodged a police report regarding alleged match-fixing.
Chung has been charged with one count of corruption and another under the Remote Gambling Act, and his case is still before the courts.
Those found guilty of corruption can be jailed for up to five years and/or fined $100,000.
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