VCS Playoffs Push Through Despite Massive Match Fixing Suspensions

VCS Playoffs Push Through Despite Massive Match Fixing Suspensions

Will the professional Vietnamese League of Legends scene be able to recover from something like this?

It’s the spring playoffs for the Vietnam Championship Series (VCS), yet the mood is somber thanks to the player suspensions doled out due to match-fixing allegations. A staggering 32 individuals across all eight teams were suspended, leaving the remainder scrambling for the approaching offseason. 

Rumblings of this sudden shift in the VCS started back on March 18 when official organizers announced that all future matches would be postponed. This was due to them conducting an investigation on all participating teams for suspicions of match-fixing. 

VCS Playoffs Push Through Despite Massive Match Fixing Suspensions
Not even the best teams in the world take this long to close a match when they’re over 10k ahead in gold.

The catalyst for the investigation was a match broadcasted on March 14 between MGN Blue Esports and Team Whales. It didn’t take long for fans to notice that there was something suspicious with the way MGN was playing. By the end, many were accusing the team for intentionally dragging the game time out to pass 30 minutes.

Turning over the entire league

Days passed on the VCS official’s match-fixing investigation before they released their gigantic wave of suspensions on March 28. It’s important to note that being suspended does not mean that the individual is automatically guilty. It just means that they need to undergo further investigation and therefore cannot participate in any Riot Games esports activities.

VCS Playoffs Push Through Despite Massive Match Fixing Suspensions
Tran “Bean J” Van Chinh of Team Whales was on the list of suspended players. A disappointing outcome considering he had a highlight performance during Worlds 2023. (Photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

Still, the size of this wave of suspensions is unprecedented in esports. Not even the top teams in the VCS such as Team Secret and GAM Esports were spared. Yet despite this massive upheaval of the league the VCS playoffs continue on, albeit with a considerable delay in schedule.

The show must go on

VCS officials released an update stating that playoffs will resume on April 3 with considerable changes. Only the top four teams during the regular season will play in a double-elimination bracket. Teams are also allowed to make emergency transfers and replacements to fill in the spots of suspended players.

To say that this all seems like a mess would be an understatement. The remaining teams are basically looking for any high-level player willing to be a mercenary for them. A few players are even coming out of retirement to fill in those spots, such as Lê “SofM” Quang Duy who also happens to be the co-owner of Viking Esports.

Ironically, there’s an air of excitement for the VCS playoffs amidst the match-fixing and suspensions. More eyes have been drawn to the minor region than ever before thanks to this shakeup but an uneasy question still remains: what will happen to the league once the dust settles?

Banner photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games.

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