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Published: September 8, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov


  • Reports surfaced that a match in the North American Challenger League was rigged
  • This comes at an inconvenient time for the NACL, which recently recovered from a player walkout
  • Nothing is yet to be confirmed, but it’s likely Riot’s investigation won’t take long

Rumors suggest that a player from the North American amateur organization Supernova placed a bet on the opponents and then threw the match, prompting Riot Games to investigate.

Riot Starts the Investigation

Many people have heard of “match fixing” in sports, a.k.a. the intentional rigging of a match to lead to a specific result, oftentimes motivated by monetary gains if one specific side wins. Unfortunately, this has sometimes also been seen in esports, requiring various regulatory organs to step in and investigate if there was a violation of the rules of the game.

Such is the case with Riot Games recently launching an investigation after rumors surfaced that a League of Legends series was thrown. The North American Challenger League Spring promotion seems to be under the most scrutiny and reports from LoL journalist Sander Hove suggest that multiple players are believed to be involved in the case.

According to Hove, Riot is particularly focused on both qualifying series featuring Supernova, a North American amateur organization focused on developing players in a pro-like environment. The team fell from their upper bracket qualifying match against LiT and then went down in a series sweep to Mirage, finishing ninth during the regular season, and dropping out of the league altogether.

The rumors say that one of Supernova’s players allegedly placed a sizeable bet on their opponent during their qualifying match drafts. They then deafened their communications and locked in a random champion, proceeding to deviate from the team’s game plan. One could say this is a mistake, albeit a very uncommon one, but things get more suspicious when we take into account that the same thing apparently happened in both the LiT and Mirage series.

However, this is not a clear proof that any rigging has happened. But if we consider the large resources that Riot has at its disposal in regard to verifying any bets made on the match, chances are high that the investigation will yield the whole story.

Whatever the investigation reveals, it is already another black point for the NACL which saw top orgs withdraw from the second division following Riot’s decision to scrap mandatory participation in the league. Only three of the ten LCS organizations managed to hold their NACL rosters for the summer split. This caused the LCS Players Association (LCSPA) to stage a walkout ahead of the LCS season launch in June. It was effective as eventually it and Riot Games agreed to terms just days before the split was to commence, with the latter reaffirming their commitment to the amateur North American League scene.

It’s unfortunate that the match rigging investigation is happening now, as the NACL has just once again stepped back on its feet.

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