Suspended for rectification: LDL goes on break Mar. 17 to combat widespread match-fixing

Source: Riot Games

 

LPL's second division, the League of Legends Development League (LDL), will go on an indefinite break from Mar. 17. According to the official Weibo post, the LDL will go through internal "rectification" and while the reason was not explicitly stated, more than likely it's the widespread match-fixing in the league.

 

LDL and match-fixing: A short history

Fixing professional games has been a documented issue for the LDL since 2019. In April 2019, Rogue Warriors Shark were disqualified from the LDL playoffs and issued $420,000 fine. RW.S jungler Wang “WeiYan” Xiang also received a two-year ban from League of Legends. Later the same year, several LGD Gaming members were found guilty of match-fixing too, including well-known name Xiang "Condi" Ren-Jie. Condi received an 18-month suspension, while LGD's manager Song "Hesitate" Ziyang was lifetime-banned. 

 

Most recently, a match-fixing scandal involved FunPlus Phoenix's jungler Zhou "Bo" Yang-Bo. In February, Bo came out to LPL officials, admitting to having match-fixed while playing for eStar Young in the LDL. According to Bo, he was coerced into the crime — a confession that launched an investigation into the club.

 

With case after case of foul play eroding the competitive integrity of the LDL, an investigation into the entire ecosystem is very likely the reason why the league needs this "verification". No details of any kind were made public, but if match-fixing is indeed the reason for the league's suspension, Riot Games will have to look into the very fundamentals of match-fixing culture, including the salary levels of players, especially in the lower-tier clubs. 

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