Worlds 2021 was hit by scandal yesterday evening (October 8) as Taiwanese team Beyond Gaming saw one of it’s players banned from the event for gambling related offences.
Riot Games announced that PCS mid laner, Chien “Maoan” Mao-An, had been banned in a competitive ruling posted on their social media late last night.
The ruling, attributed to Tom Martel, Riot Director of Operations, stated that Maoan had violated Rule 9.3 of the 2021 World Championship Ruleset (sic). Breaking of this rule, pertaining to gambling, mean that he would be suspended for the remainder of Worlds 2021, pending an investigation.
According to leaked texts and documents, it appears Maoan distributed details of his Champion picks ahead of their game against Galatasaray. The series, which Beyond Gaming won 3-2, was a crucial juncture in the Worlds 2021 play-in phase.
The inside information could have been used to make wagers on betting sites. Champion picks are just one of many stakes esports gamblers can make on League of Legends.
Former player Michael “bigfatlp” Tang weighed in, detailing his take on the leaked images in an expletive ladened post. The payment for Maoan’s potentially lucrative picks appears to have been a single selfie. It appears that when the picks were wrong, the other party reported Maoan to Riot Games.
Maoan’s suspension means that Beyond Gaming must face Hanwha Life Esports, and top-tier mid laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon without their primary mid laner.
Fans and supporters of Beyond Gaming have universally condemned Maoan, but rallied behind teammate Chiu “Doggo” Tzu-Chuan. The bottom laner has been a stand-out player for his team, by some reports, single-handedly winning games for his squad.
Beyond Gaming faces HLE on October 9 at 13:00 CEST.