Beyond Gaming saw their League of Legends World Championship run end Saturday, less than 24 hours after a memorable reverse-sweep of Galatasaray Esports in a best-of-five elimination match at Worlds 2021.
Their 3-o loss to League of Legends Champions Korea fourth-seed, Hanwha Life Esports, and even that reverse-sweep won’t be what Beyond is known for this year, though. When people look back on this Worlds, they’ll probably have Friday’s late-night scandal come to mind instead of the star performance of Beyond bot laner Chiu “Doggo” Tzu-Chuan.
Late Friday, Riot Games announced BYG mid-laner Chien “Maoan” Moa-An would be suspended for the remainder of Worlds 2021 for leaking champion picks to a friend with the intention of helping them make bets on games. Maoan’s friend was allegedly using these leaks to place bets on. This was a breach of the developer’s competitive integrity agreement, specifically Rule 9.3, which references association with gambling. That rule states: “No Team Member or WCE official may take part, either directly or indirectly, in betting or gambling on any results of any WCE game, match or tournament.”
Competitive Ruling: Chien “Maoan” Mao-An pic.twitter.com/x4c8Lhw5n7
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) October 8, 2021
BYG did not have a substitute mid-laner to replace Maoan. Instead, Beyond Gaming’s lone sub at Worlds 2021, backup top laner Hsieh “PK” Yu-Ting, was forced to play in order to avoid a forfeit.
HLE’s best player happens to be Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon who is one of the best mid-laners in the world. BYG’s sub and starting top laner Wu “Liang” Liang-Te now had the pleasure of alternately going up against the third-best mid laner in the tournament. To make matters worse, PK did not have any professional mid-lane experience.
BYG did keep the first two games relatively close in the early game, with star bot laner Doggo gave the HLE bot lane a run for their money. But the skill gap in the top and mid lanes were way too much to overcome. BYG lost the best of five series in three very quick games.
HLE’s win sends them to the Worlds 2021 group stage. They will face the likes of Fnatic, PSG Talon, and Royal Never Give Up in Group C.