Rogue Warriors’ LDL team — Rogue Warriors Shark — will have to forfeit their LDL Spring Playoffs spot. The punishment comes after investigation by league officials has found three of their players, in addition to one Rogue Warriors LPL player, guilty of match-fixing.
The three RWS players include mid laner Jie “Caocao” Ren and AD Carries Kangjian ”Zhanzhao” Liao and Zhanhong “FengXian” Liu. They’ve been aided by Rogue Warriors jungler and former RWS player Tao“XiaoYao”Xie who “also participated and assisted the players mentioned above in their misconduct.”
According to the official ruling, the four players have been “involved in manipulating match outcomes through prohibited approaches during the LDL Spring regular season.” There’s no mention how many and which matches did they fix.
Caocao, Zhanzhao, Fengxian, and XiaoYao will each receive a ban from playing in all LoL tournaments for 18 seasonal months. RWS coach Ye “ShiMing” Sheng-Liao and manager Haokao Li have received an official warning for “failure to carry out their management obligations.”
With three of their players banned, Rogue Warriors Shark will be left with just four players eligible to compete in events, including the upcoming LDL Spring Playoffs, and the league’s decision could only be one — disqualification.
“Due to the fact that registration for new LDL players is already closed, RWS will not be able to register new players before the playoffs. As such, according to LDL regulations article 4.1.3 and 9.6.10, RWS will lose their spot in the LDL 2019 Spring Playoffs due to failure to have a 5-player team. Their opponents will receive a bye in affected series.”
RWS earned a quarterfinal seed for the playoffs after finishing third in the regular season. They were scheduled to play the winner of TS Gaming and WE Academy on May 7 but with the ruling in place, the winner in question will jump straight to the semifinals.
This is the second instance of match-fixing in eastern League of Legends in the past week. On Apr. 24, Riot Games and Garena disqualified LMS team Dragon Gate following reports of match-fixing. In a series of follow-up statements, DG announced their plans to sue Garena for ruling without sufficient evidence and rerouted the blame for the match-fixing to their AD Carry, Soul.