4 months' jail for Valorant player who threw e-sports match after betting $3,000 on his team to lose

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
May 26, 2023

A man who was an active online gamer when he threw an e-sports tournament match to win $7,019 via an unlawful remote gambling service was given four months’ jail on Friday for corruption.

Malcolm Chung Wai Kiat, 25, was the second person involved in the case to be dealt with in court.

On Thursday, his accomplice Ryan Tan Shern, 21, who admitted to a corruption charge in January, was ordered to undergo reformative training for at least six months.

Young people under reformative training are detained in a centre and made to follow a strict regimen that can include foot drills and counselling.

Tan and Chung had known each other since 2014, when they used to play video game Counter-Strike.

Six years later, Chung represented a firm called RSG Resurgence Esports in tournaments.

In August 2020, Tan borrowed $1,000 from Chung to fund his gambling habit. Soon after, Chung kept asking Tan for his money back.

On Sept 21, 2020, Chung, who was then slated to play a match in the Epulze Royal South-east Asia Cup tournament, asked Tan for $400. The next day, Tan came up with the plan for Chung to throw the match.

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

At around 6pm on Sept 22, 2020, Tan suggested that Chung, who was then the captain of Team Resurgence’s Valorant team, throw his match against Team Blackbird Ignis from Japan.

The prosecution said that as part of the plan, bets would be made on Chung’s team losing the match. Tan also said he could obtain money from his elder brother to place the bets.

Deputy Public Prosecutor David Menon said Chung agreed to the plan as he believed it was the only way to recoup his money.

A sum of $3,000 was transferred to Chung’s bank account after Tan pleaded with his brother for a loan.

According to court documents, Tan and Chung agreed that Chung would place bets with the money and retain a share of the winnings.

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

DPP Menon said: “Team Resurgence lost the match against Team Blackbird Ignis by a score of 0-2. (Chung) deliberately underperformed and instructed his teammates to underperform as well.”

Upon losing the match, Chung won $7,019 and kept $2,719 for himself. He transferred $3,650 to Tan’s brother and $650 to one of Tan’s friends.

On June 24, 2021, the chief operating officer of RSG Resurgence Esports lodged a police report after suspecting that match-fixing had taken place.

Offenders convicted of corruption can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to $100,000.

The Straits Times

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