An anti-corruption scandal has rocked South Korea’s Korean Esports Association (KeSPA).
Dot Esports reports that the organisation’s chairman Jeon Byung-Hun and three of his aides were taken into custody yesterday. They are being investigated over allegations that they received large payments from South Korean retailer Lotte Homeshopping, along with the alleged embezzlement of KeSPA funds.
Both the home of one of the aides and the KeSPA offices were raided.
Jeon Byung-Hun has throughout his KeSPA tenure also sat on the parliamentary committee on broadcasting and communications. It is suspected that Lotte Homeshopping, which is the country’s largest department store chain, hoped to curry favour in order to ensure the renewal of its broadcast license.
Lottle lost the right to broadcast home shopping programming in peak hours last year after it was found guilty of lying about the number of its executives that had previously been implicated in bribery in its renewal application. The saga ended up landing its owner an 18-month jail term.
The possibility that Lotte’s KeSPA sponsorship was also part of a larger bribery plan has not been ruled out, either.
Team Liquid adds that a source close to Lotte as stating: "Mr. Yun suggested that we create a pro-gaming team, but the expenditure of around 1,000,000,000 won was too expensive. After weighing it internally, we offered to participate as a title sponsor for a KeSPA held gaming tournament, putting up around 300,000,000 won."
They deny that any favour was gained as a result of the deal, although prosecutors believe 100,000,000 of this total was embezzled by Yun and another aide going by the name of Kim.