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Ultraliga suspends players amid investigation for 'match manipulation'

Ultraliga suspends players amid investigation for 'match manipulation'
Image via Ironwolves

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch

Published 

25th Jan 2024 15:00

The League of Legends competition league Ultraliga has announced a two-match suspension for the players Wen "kylin" Zheng and Shuai "Odin" Wang. It comes as the organiser investigates the two competitors for "potential match manipulation."

The League cites a rule infliction, alleging that the players had failed to "play at their best at all times within any League match," as the official rule stated. As a result of the suspension, their team, Iron Wolves, was forced to forfeit its match against devils.one with the team no longer being able to field a full squad for the competition.

The allegation

In the match between Iron Wolves and Team ESCA in the Ultraliga, the LoL League for the Baltics and Poland that ties into the EMEA Masters system, the Chinese import players kylin and Odin were called out for uncharacteristic decisions taken during the match, potentially delaying the eventual outcome of the match on various occasions.

Shortly after the match, redditor u/vxshade raised the issue, providing examples of odd plays by the two competitors. Twitter account @GRP_Esports posted an entire thread of strange plays, especially by Odin. The social media posts caught the attention of fans as the story escalated to the League's front office.

Ultraliga takes action

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A day after the match, the League released a public statement, announcing the temporary suspension of Odin and kylin, also disclosing that this decision was their currently allowed maximum penalty before an investigation with Riot Games was concluded.

"The league, in cooperation with Riot Games and Sportradar, is concurrently conducting an investigation to determine if there was potential match manipulation involved by the individuals," says the statement. Iron Wolves also shared a statement on Twitter, accepting the ruling.

Iron Wolves called the performance "unprofessional" and "completely unacceptable." "We’ve come to an agreement that the gameplay was completely out of character for both players," the team stated while also asking fans to remain civil in their interaction with the players. 

Sascha Heinisch
About the author
Sascha Heinisch
Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.
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