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Updated 10/31, 3:40 p.m. ET: Semih “LEGOO” Selvi has admitted in a TwitLonger that he participated in the Twitch money laundering scandal and has parted ways with his team, BBL Esports, after making $2,000. According to LEGOO, a now former friend told him about an allegedly legal opportunity where people would watch Twitch ads for bits, donate them to LEGOO and then they’d split the money. Considering he had yet to sign with any team or make any money from esports at all, he “jumped at the offer like an idiot.” But soon after, he grew suspicious.
“Later on, when I realized the bits were coming anonymously, I became suspicious and wanted to quit,” LEGOO wrote in his Twitlonger. “But since I was on the rise at the time and the person who got me into it had leverage on me, even though I told the person many times that I didn’t want to continue, I was forced to do it. After my endless pleas, he finally let me go.”
Later on Sunday, Ekrem “Logicman” Aydın, LEGOO’s teammate, also admitted to being involved on stream. Logicman also claimed he was told the transfers were legal and said he would not longer be streaming on Twitch anymore. He has also left BBL over the scandal.
LEGOO and Logicman are just two of potentially many players Turkish VALORANT players Riot Games is likely to ban for their involvement in a Twitch money laundering scheme, which was first reported by Jake Lucky, a source familiar with the situation told Upcomer on Sunday. According to them, even if Riot doesn’t hand out permanent bans, some players may still be banned for at least one year.
A MASSIVE Twitch scandal is ongoing in the Turkish scene involving dozens of esports players and streamers money laundering through bit donations
After Twitch’s massive payout leak, people noticed several smaller streamers making absurd amounts of money from bits (1/2)
— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) October 30, 2021
The scandal involves streamers from Turkey earning payouts from donations and bits through stolen credit cards. The scandal will reportedly impact 300 streamers and professionals from the region and has reached the halls of Turkish parliament.
Twitch uygulaması üzerinden milyonlarca dolar kara para aklayan ekonomik çıkar amaçlı suç örgütleri ile suç geliri temin eden yayıncılar hakkında önergeyi @HMBakanligi’na sundum. Konu MASAK tarafından acilen incelenmeli, adli ve süreç hemen başlamalı. #TemizTwitch pic.twitter.com/hmGCTeczT8
— Gürsel Tekin (@gurseltekin34) October 31, 2021
In these tweets, according to a translator, Gürsel Tekin, the deputy of the Republican People’s Party, wrote to the president of the Turkish Grand National Assembly about the issue of money laundering through Twitch. He details the process by which criminals steal credit card information, use them to donate bits to streamers and then transfer the bits into crypto coins so the money can be split with criminal organizations. Then, he states that these crimes must be combated within the framework of the Council of Europe Convention, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism and domestic legislation.
The names of all 300 implicated have not yet been released, however, Upcomer has reached out to Riot Games and Twitch for further comment on the situation. They did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Depending on the players involved, this could decimate the pool of Turkish VALORANT professionals and force teams to sign new players.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Additional reporting was contributed by Yinsu Collins.
Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.