Beyond Gaming mid laner Maoan has been suspended for the rest of Worlds 2021 after he provided pick/ban information to a friend for betting purposes.
Riot Games has suspended Beyond Gaming mid laner Chien "Maoan" Mao-An for at least the remainder of Worlds 2021 after revelations surfaced that he was leaking information on the games for gambling purposes.
The background to the allegations
The allegations first surfaced in English on Twitter after the games on Day 4 of Worlds. Maoan apparently leaked the results of BYG's pick/ban phases for betting purposes.
Beyond Gaming's owner, Xue "Dinter" Hong-Wei, later made a Facebook post responding to the allegiations. While written in Chinese, it details his frustration and anger at the situation. He commits to uncovering what happened, while supporting the remainder of his team.
Beyond Gaming's Worlds so far
The situation comes at a particularly bad time, just as Beyond have hit their stride at Worlds. Coming in to play-ins as the second seed from the PCS, they had some hype around them, especially because they went 5-5 against MSI semifinalists PSG Talon in the PCS Summer Playoffs. They struggled early in groups, ultimately going 1-3 with a win over Unicorns of Love. They'd win a tiebreaker again over UOL to advance to the play-in knockouts.
That match was played on Day 4. Up against Galatasaray Esports, Beyond went down 0-2 early. But they battled back, rallying around star AD Carry Chiu "Doggo" Tzu-Chuan. They'd pull off the reverse sweep, advancing to play Hanwha Life Esports tomorrow for a spot in groups. Now, all that is in jeopardy.
Is more punishment for Maoan coming?
Maoan has been suspended for the rest of Worlds. Looking towards Beyond's series against HLE tomorrow, things don't look good. Beyond brought top laner Hsieh "PK" Yu-Ting as a sub to Worlds. But they don't have a mid sub, and putting in their secondary top laner against Jeong "Chovy" Ji-hoon, a player in contention for best in the world, is a recipe for disaster. Or if they can't pull something together, perhaps we see Beyond forfeit the game.
In their announcement, Riot also indicate that a full investigation is ongoing. This isn't the first time they've dealt with severe situations like this: the LDL, China's second tier, was entirely suspended earlier this year while match-fixing was looked into. That ended with 12 players receiving lifetime bans, and many more suspended. They've dealt with toxicity before too - current Team Liquid mid laner Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen was formerly permabanned from the game before it was lifted in 2015. All this is to say, more punishment is likely coming.