VCS halts Spring Split indefinitely amid match fixing speculation

VCS halts Spring Split indefinitely amid match fixing speculation
Image via Riot Games

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch


18th Mar 2024 17:30

The League of Legends Vietnam Championship Series has announced the immediate and indefinite pausing of play, citing "unexpected reasons that could affect the matches." Fans are raising match-fixing allegations as the cause of the decision.

Suspending competition

On March 15, the VCS announced its decision to suspend active play for all remaining matches of the eighth week in the Vietnamese competition, promising to keep the viewers updated on the investigation.

Only three days later, it went a step further by voiding all results that had already been played during the week and taking the standings of Week 7 as the final ranking used to determine the participating teams in the Spring Stage playoffs. Moreover, the playoffs were also indefinitely postponed.

"We understand that this is a really difficult decision to make in the middle of the tournament, but we are fully committed to always upholding transparency in the VCS and absolutely will not tolerate any actions that affect the competitive integrity," a statement of the official English VS account shared, giving an indication of the size of the underlying problem.

While the VCS has not pointed out definitive reasons for the suspension of play or which teams may be involved in the rule infliction, insiders and fans are questioning the results of some matches, alleging unusual gameplay patterns.

Fans speculate on the reasoning

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When the news around the suspension of play initially made the rounds, fans connected the dots to a recent event in the South Korean LCK during which severe DDoS attacks had forced some matches to be rescheduled, with some games even to be played without a broadcast.

However, insiders deemed this unlikely, given there had been no prior indications of this issue also occurring in the VCS. Vietnamese LoL insider Vietnam Esports Express instead raised concerns about a particular match between MGN Box Esports and Team Whales.

During the match, MBE managed to gain a large advantage over their opponent, winning a team fight with an ACE around the 28-minute mark. With three members alive, all lanes pushing, and the Nexus turrets exposed via the mid-lane, MBE decided to take objectives instead despite possibly having an opportunity to end the match outright.

"I don’t understand the intention here, I think they can end the game," one caster pointed out during the live match, according to a machine translation. While MBE would eventually take the game, the delay of the conclusion forced the match over a 30-minute mark, a time threshold that some esports gambling platforms offer as a bet.

None of the participating parties have given an official statement as to the definitive reason for the suspension of play, though a statement from the VCS is expected soon.

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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