20-year-old gets online gamer to throw e-sport match to pay off debt, pleads guilty to corruption

Samuel Devaraj
The Straits Times
Jan 5, 2023

As he did not have the means to repay his debt, a young man concocted a plan for his creditor, an active online gamer, to throw an e-sport tournament match to get his money back.

On Thursday, Ryan Tan Shern, 20, pleaded guilty in a district court to a corruption charge.

Noting that he rarely sees cases of corruption involving a young person, District Judge Soh Tze Bian called for reports to assess Tan’s suitability for probation and reformative training.

Another charge under the Remote Gambling Act will be taken into consideration during his sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Victoria Ting said Tan borrowed $1,000 from Malcolm Chung Wai Kiat, 24, in August 2020 to fund his gambling habit. The pair had known each other since 2014 when they played the video game Counter-Strike together.

Chung kept asking for his money back, but Tan was unable to repay him.

After Chung asked for $400 from him on Sept 21, 2020, Tan came up with a plan the next day for Chung to throw an e-sports match in the Epulze Royal South-east Asia Cup tournament that he was playing in.

The tournament was part of the Valorant Ignition Series, which involved online first-person shooter game Valorant, where two opposing teams of five players each take turns to attack and defend.

At around 6pm on Sept 22, 2020, Tan suggested that Chung, who was representing RSG Resurgence Esports, throw his team’s match against Team Blackbird Ignis from Japan after betting on his team to lose.

Tan also said he could obtain money from his older brother to place the bets. Chung agreed to the plan as he believed it was the only way to recoup his money, DPP Ting said.

A sum of $3,000 was transferred to Chung’s account after Tan pleaded with his brother for a loan. Tan and Chung agreed that Chung would place bets with the money and retain a share of the winnings as corrupt gratification.

Chung then logged into his account with an unlawful remote gambling service and placed five bets totalling $3,000.

When RSG Resurgence Esports lost the match, Chung won $7,109 and kept $2,319 for himself.

On June 24, 2021, the chief operating officer of RSG Resurgence Esports lodged a police report regarding alleged match-fixing involving Chung, whose case is still before the courts.

Chung has been charged with one count of corruption and another under the Remote Gambling Act, and his case is still before the courts.

Those found guilty of corruption can be jailed for up to five years, fined $100,000, or both.

The Straits Times

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