After an internal investigation, a League of Legends Wild Rift coach for the esports company FENNEL who admitted to trying to rig matches, had his contract terminated. James ‘Hamezz’ Santos, a former Wild Rift player turned analyst and coach, admitted on June 12 via a Facebook post that he had tried to manipulate one of his team’s games to profit from bets on the result. The Filipino analyst explained how he and a friend canceled FENNEL’s match versus Nigma Galaxy in the Wild Rift League Asia regular season.
Hamezz clarified that the squad would not receive any prize money if they lost because they would finish lower than sixth place. He then tried to persuade some of FENNEL’s players to join a match-fixing conspiracy to guarantee that the team would receive a comparable sum of money with a defeat, almost $100,000 per player. The analyst also provided a Google Drive link to screenshots and recordings of talks with players to persuade them to throw their next game. Although Hamezz’s Facebook page has been private since this post, Wild Rift coach John ‘Glaceox’ Lim has saved a screenshot of the confession on Twitter.
A match-fixing scandal has affected the Wild Rift eSports
A few hours later, FENNEL issued its own statement on Hamezz. The esports organization announced the dismissal of Hamezz from the squad after disclosing the results of its investigation into the post.
FENNEL claimed Hamezz gave the orders to “deliberately lose a match in WRL Asia 2023” on June 9 to Ken “RyuKen” Flores, Robert “Trebor” Mansilungan, Aden “Aker” Baranda, and Miguel “Arisen” Pison. According to FENNEL, Hamezz bet online that FENNEL would lose to Nigma 2-0.
FENNEL claimed Trebor was opposed to the plan from the start and that the other participants initially gave the scheme some thought but finally decided against it. On June 11, FENNEL defeated Nigma 2-1 to conclude the regular season in sixth position.
Hamezz threatened to out Ryuken, Aker, and Arisen for initially approving the proposal on social media after losing money on the failed attempt to fix the match. According to FENNEL, he also threatened to denounce them to Riot Games. One of the players informed their team manager about the attempted match-fixing conspiracy due to the threats. According to FENNEL’s statement, Hamezz admitted to the facts and timeframe given by the organization.