Riot Games has suspended Beyond Gaming’s Taiwanese mid-laner Chien ‘Maoan’ Mao-An in a huge scandal at the 2021 League of Legends World Championship (Worlds).
Esports News UK usually covers UK-centric news, but this is a huge breaking story and many in the local scene here have started reacting to the news.
18-year-old Maoan was found to have leaked inside information to a friend, for the purposes of betting on their 3-2 victory over Galatasaray in the play-ins elimination stage on October 8th 2021.
This breaks section 9.3 of the Worlds 2021 ruleset document, ‘Association with Gambling’, which states: “No Team Member or WCE (World Championship Event) official may take part, either directly or indirectly, in betting or gambling on any results of any WCE game, match or tournament.”
Beyond Gaming (BYG) are due to play against Hanwha Life Esports later today (October 9th) and will likely field a substitute, though it’s reported they do not have a mid-lane sub with them at Worlds.
Riot’s director of operations Tom Martell published this statement on the LoL Esports Twitter page, saying Maoan has been suspended and ‘may be subject to additional penalties’ following an investigation.
Beyond Gaming owner Xue ‘Dinter’ Hong-Wei Dinter said in this Facebook post: “Today was a tough day, both on and off the field. I can only apologise to everyone who is disappointed or angry.”
BYG compete in the Pacific Championship Series (PCS) covering the Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Southeast Asia regions.
PCS caster and host Jenny ‘Reirachu’ Lee said in a Twitter thread that a leaked screenshot of Maoan’s chat showed him implying he would pick Sylas and Orianna, yet he didn’t pick those champions in the game versus Galatasaray. He picked Yone, Ryze (twice) and Syndra (twice).
“There’s also a rumour that someone else besides Maoan is involved in leaking PB,” Reirachu said. “Also Dinter thinks the original leaker did so because Maoan said “Sylas and Orianna” and neither of them were picked today so they probably lost money and were mad.”
Some in the UK/Ireland League scene reacted to the news.
Caster and LJL specialist Nymaera said: “What an incredibly shortsighted, destructive move for [BYG], their teammates and their region’s fans… A reminder, BYG do not have a dedicated mid player as a substitute, and they have to play versus Chovy tomorrow.”
Caster Darxil added: “What a horrible thing for Maoan to do, costing his teammates so much at the biggest League of Legends tournament of the year. I would be heart broken if I was his teammates. I wouldn’t be surprised if this adversely affected his career for years to come.”
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Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.