On 22nd February 2021, signs began to show about a possible match-fixing scandal in the LDL, the LPL's academy league where many of its young promises are preparing to make the leap to the professional scene.
All this stemmed from a confession by Zhou "Bo" Yang-Bo, FPX’s starting jungler, who reported himself to the team for being coerced into match-fixing while playing in the LDL. As a result, he was suspended by the team and reported to league officials, initiating an investigation of all teams and players in this league.
(Picture: FunPlus Phoenix)
A couple of months after the investigation started, having been paused in March during the regular season, the LDL and Riot Games have released the resolution of this case, bringing with it a huge amount of punishments for many Chinese professional players.
Highlighting among these is a four-month suspension for both Bo and Wang "Teeen" Yao-Ji, support for ThunderTalk Gaming, another of the LPL teams, who saw their sanctions reduced from an original six months, after cooperating in the investigation.
(Picture: Riot Games)
Also, Xiang "bless" Yi-Tong, jungler for ThunderTalk Gaming, has received a one-year suspension from competing professionally, after having been involved in this scandal during his time in the LDL.
FPX Bo’s released an apology upon his involvement in the match-fixing:
Going through the LDL’s side, a total of 12 players from different teams have received lifetime bans, for which they will not be able to compete again within the Chinese League of Legends professional scene.
In addition to these, Sheng Jie Gaming has been disqualified from the current LDL season, and another 23 players from this development league have been suspended according to the severity of their involvement, with punishments ranging from three months, up to two years.
“The goal of this large-scale investigation is to more thoroughly understand and rectify the situation in the league, so as to eliminate the influence of match-fixing in the long run,” said the LPL in a statement on Chinese social network, Weibo.
At the moment, Gao "Tian" Tian-Liang is expected to remain as FunPlus Phoenix's starting jungler for the remainder of the 2021 Season, following his impromptu return after being out of action due to health issues.