You're familiar with that old trope, right? The one where a prize boxer agrees to "take a dive" in order for a mobster to win an illicit bet. Well, brace yourself for a real shocker ... not only does that clichéd plot device happen in real life, it's been going on in StarCraft. Yeah, that's right ... veteran players have been rigging matches in Blizzard's classic RTS.
The most astounding thing about this affair isn't simply that players have been faking matches to benefit illegal gambling groups, but the fact this has rocked the South Korean gaming scene so thoroughly. They take their StarCraft seriously over there, and the busting of this racket has sent shockwaves through the pro gaming community.
According to reports, "various pro gamers" were involved in the shady shenanigans, and a number of them have now been forced to shamefully retire in the wake of the scandal. Retired star players and coaches, as well as South Korea's e-sports organizers, have also been implicated. The organizers are alleged to have been aware of the cheating and tried to deal with it privately before suggesting that they actually work in conjunction with the illegal gambling rings.
The huge controversy goes as high as "A-list" players like Ja Mae Yoon and has even been compared to the 1919 Chicago "Black Sox" affair. Only more geeky. Still, nerdy or not, this is a huge deal in South Korea right now and will likely have a considerable impact on its gaming scene. I'm just astounding a gambling racket for videogames ever existed.