On Thursday, April 22, Riot Games announced that its two-month investigation of match-fixing activity within China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL) and its academy league, the League of Legends Development League (LDL), has concluded.
The ruling affects three LPL players, as well as 35 players and staff from the LDL; punishments range from temporary suspensions to permanent bans. The three LPL players are FPX jungler Zhou “Bo” Yang-Bo, ThunderTalk support Wang “Teeen” Yao-Ji and ThunderTalk jungler Xiang “bless” Yi-Tong. Bo and Teeen both received four-month suspensions (originally six months). Bless received a full-year suspension (originally 18 months). Due to their cooperation in the investigation, their suspensions were reduced.
The LDL ruling included players from a variety of teams; most notably, the entire Sheng Jie Gaming roster has been disqualified from the league. On top of that, 12 players and other personnel from the org have received lifetime bans.
On February 22, Bo reported to FPX that he was coerced into match-fixing activities during his stint playing in the LDL. Consequently, the org escalated the situation to LPL officials. Bo had been starting over FPX star jungler Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang at this time. However, FPX suspended him during the ongoing investigation.
FPX Bo’s apology for the LDL match-fixing controversy:— Linda Pro League 🦦 (@iCrystalization) April 22, 2021
“I’m sorry. I’ve spent this past period of time regretting and suffering, and not knowing how I should face everyone. But one should never under any circumstances violate the rules. What’s wrong is wrong (..)”
(video below) pic.twitter.com/2vbl1mWPPC
This ruling adds to the long list of players involved in match-fixing scandals within the LPL and LDL. In 2019, the League Discipline Management Team also issued punishments to players from both Rogue Warriors Shark and LGD for match-fixing behavior.