SINGAPORE – Two professional e-sports players have been charged with match-fixing offenses at the 2020 Valorant tournament, after organizers discovered they had earlier bet against their own team.
The two Singaporeans, Malcolm Chung Wai Kiat, 24, and Tan Sheren Ryan, 20, were charged with two counts each of corruption and illegal remote gambling.
The pair were members of Team Resurgence, which competes in a first-person shooter video game. Chung goes by the player name “Jermg” while Tan goes by “Dreamycsgo”.
In the 2020 Valorant Ignition Series Epulse Royale Southeast Asia Cup tournament, the Singapore-based team is set to compete against Japanese team Blackbird Ignis on September 22.
Tan offered Chung S$3,000 to place a bet on online gambling site 12Play and promised Chung a portion of the winnings to fix the game’s outcome.
Resurgence lost that game to Blackbird Ignis 2-0.
Court documents say Tan transferred the money to Chung through a man named Tan Shun Brendan, though it was not immediately clear whether he would face charges.
The Corruption Eradication Bureau, which filed the case against Chung and Tan, declined to say whether it had initiated charges against Tan Shun Brendan. The case is in court.
Allegations of match-fixing were made after the game, and Valorant developer Riot Games, which runs the Valorant Ignition Series tournaments in collaboration with other organizers, began an investigation.
In a statement issued in June 2021, the American game developer said that during the investigation, Chung informed the rest of the details of the revival.
“Riot understood that the rest of the Resurgence roster didn’t want to throw the game, but deliberately hid the matter from their management and (tournament organizer) Valorant eSports officials because they were concerned about penalties and risking their contract with Resurgence,” he said.
After the game, Chung tried to pay other team members, but they refused the payment, according to Riot Games. The list was released in October 2020.
Chung and Tan were banned from participating in Valorant tournaments for 36 months, while four other teammates received bans ranging from six months to one year.
If convicted of corruption, Tan and Chung could each be fined up to S$100,000, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.
Anyone who engages in remote gambling on unapproved services in Singapore can be fined up to S$5,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both.