5 Most Shocking Esports Scandals of the Recent Years


The esports industry is becoming more and more similar to traditional sports every day. And although for the most part, it is about positive trends, this business is also gradually catching up with conventional sports in terms of scandalous situations. From failed League of Legends teams to bans ahead of prestigious tournaments, here are five controversial stories that have shocked the esports world.

Match-fixing in CS:GO

When Counter-Strike teams were earning too little to make a living out of competitive events, many players thought about participating in match-fixing schemes. However, only iBUYPOWER, which was considered one of the most promising teams in 2014 and 2015, decided to take this dubious step. Before a serious match, the team members made huge bets on their defeat and partnered with their opponents. As a result, some players have earned around $10 000 on their fraudulent bets. But in 2015, the Valve company permanently banned all involved players from participating in sponsored competitive events.

Racist scandal in DOTA 2

Being overwhelmed by emotions, DOTA 2 professional players often do not realize that the Internet remembers everything. Carlo “Kuku” Palad, who was preparing for the Chongqing Major tournament in 2019, ignored this rule, and it cost him a lot. After some wrong moves during a public game, Carlo insulted his opponents by typing "ching chong" words into the game chat. This phrase is racist in regard to the Chinese. Since the upcoming event was supposed to take place in China, it is not surprising that Palad was not allowed to participate in it. Moreover, his team lost 20% of their Dota Pro Circuit Points, which are needed to qualify for the most profitable tournaments.

The Echo Fox organization's sad end

In 2015, former three-time NBA champion, Rick Fox, partnered with Khalid Jones and Amit Raizada to form a new esports organization called Echo Fox. It focused on Call of Duty, Tekken 7, Street Fighter 5, League of Legends, and some other esports titles. For a while, this company has been one of the most powerful brands in the esports world. However, when Rick Fox and his partner Raizada began to accuse each other of racism and fraud, the team's reputation suffered significantly. This organization found itself in the middle of nasty lawsuits and was eventually shut down.

A lifetime ban in Starcraft 2

No one would have thought that Korean esports superstar Lee “Life” Seung-hyun would turn out to be a real disappointment. When he was 14 years old, he began to partake in professional Starcraft 2 tournaments and destroyed his opponents almost every time. This talented gamer’s massive list of achievements deserves a separate article. However, all of this did not stop him from choosing the path of match-fixing, which ruined his career. When he turned 19, Life lost all of his esports prospects due to a lifetime ban. On top of that, he received a 1.5 years sentence in prison and paid just over €50 000 in fines.

Team Griffin and its shocking collapse

Another sad LoL story belongs to the team Griffin, which was one of the top Korean teams from 2017 to 2021. The gaming community attributed most of the team's achievements to its cvMax coach, and there was definitely a lot of truth in this. But even the overwhelming success did not allow this team to stay on the esports scene for long enough. Instead, Griffin lost its coach, who was accused of physically and mentally abusing players in 2019. After that, the team fell victim to several more controversial situations, which damaged its reputation even more. This resulted in the Griffin organization being completely shut down in early 2021. And for many gamers, this case will remain one of the most shocking scandals in LoL history.

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