Update on 1st November 15h30 GMT: Jake Lucky tweeted: "Riot Turkey have confirmed that they cannot issue Valorant pro bans for the Twitch money laundering scandal until all the proper information has been disclosed by Twitch."
Original story continues:
Hundreds of Turkish Valorant pro players and streamers are currently under investigation for allegedly being complicit in a money-laundering scam involving Twitch bits bought fraudulently with stolen credit cards. This matter followed after the unusually high earnings of smaller Turkish streamers raised suspicion among members of the online community, who had been digesting the contents of the October Twitch Leaks.
Riot expected to ban Turkish Valorant pros amid money laundering scandal
On 30th October, esports reporter Jake Lucky initially publicised the scandal in a Twitter post, announcing that "dozens of esports players and streamers" were suspected of conspiring in a money-laundering scam using Twitch bit donations.
The idea is that the scammers use stolen credit cards to donate bits to streamers, who then give part of it back to the scammers, and keep the rest for themselves— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) October 30, 2021
Many of whom are likely aware that this is dirty money
Jake continued to explain that scammers were allegedly "using stolen credit cards to donate bits to streamers," who would then send between 50-70% of the money back to the scammers and "keep the rest for themselves."
The same group of scammers would also reportedly hack Twitch accounts to donate bits to streamers and are "supposedly botting for ad money using the same method."
The scandal has since made headlines in Turkey, with Gürsel Tekin- Turkish politician and vice-president of the Republican People's Party - revealing that the people responsible are "part of an international network stealing credit card details from several countries, among them the U.S. and Germany."
Twitch uygulaması üzerinden milyonlarca dolar kara para aklayan ekonomik çıkar amaçlı suç örgütleri ile suç geliri temin eden yayıncılar hakkında önergeyi @HMBakanligi’na sundum. Konu MASAK tarafından acilen incelenmeli, adli ve süreç hemen başlamalı. #TemizTwitchpic.twitter.com/hmGCTeczT8— Gürsel Tekin (@gurseltekin34) October 31, 2021
According to VLR.gg, the scam comprises at least 300 members, including high-ranking Turkish Valorant pros and streamers, alleged to be complicit in the fraud.
The following list of Valorant pros and streamers are expected to receive bans from Riot Games, per a report on FFrmTR:
- DilaÌ‚ra Toprakci (BBL Esports)
- Kaan "brasco" Elver (Fire Flux Esports)
- Ekrem "logicman" Aydın (BBL Esports) **
- Semih "LEGOO" Selvi (BBL Esports) **
- lurzy0y0 (Fire Flux Esports)
- Orçun "farewell" Köroğlu (Unity Esports)
- Yiğithan "DeepMans’ Kesici (Streamer)
- Ibrahiim "cinar" Cinar (Streamer)
- Tolga "bacyx" Bacak (Digital Athletics)
- Gökay "tecoNe" Noğayer (Beşiktaş Esports)
- Uğur "Kuzuur" Kiremitçi (Digital Athletics)
- Ertuğrul "TheCady" Koç (Streamer)
- Yusuf "Zz_yankas" Yankaş (Streamer)
BBL Esports' LEGOO since admitted his complicity in the scandal on a TwitLonger. He claimed that he was unaware of the illegitimacy of the operation, despite receiving $80K. Logicman also admitted his involvement and said he would be resigning from Twitch and BBL Esports.
Other players, including Alihan "deNc" İpeka and Mehmet "cNed" Yağız İpek, have also since come forward to admit their complicity in the scam.
The matter has since been presented to the relevant department at the Turkish authorities, who will be launching an official judicial investigation into the money laundering scheme.
Jake Lucky also recently confirmed that Riot Turkey would be "issuing bans to several Valorant pros involved."
Riot Turkey is expected to be issuing bans to several Valorant pros involved in the Twitch money laundering scandal— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) October 31, 2021
Riot Games has yet to make an official public statement regarding the matter.
This is a developing story, and we will endeavour to provide further updates as more information becomes available.
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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.