- A former esports champion has reportedly confessed to more than 100 burglaries in the last three years, and blamed his crimes on the dwindling popularity of his game of choice, “Dead or Alive.”
- Tomoyuki Inui, 33, of Tokyo, Japan was arrested after allegedly stealing more than $US23,000 from an 84-year-old woman’s apartment in Tokyo in February.
- Inui won the “Dead or Alive Ultimate” tournament at the World Cyber Games 2005, earning $US15,000. This year’s “Dead or Alive 6” World Championship will offer $US90,000 in base prize money spread across 12 international events.
A former esports champion was arrested in Japan after allegedly stealing more than $US23,000 from an 84-year-old woman’s apartment in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward in February. When questioned by authorities, Tomoyuki Inui, 33, reportedly confessed to more than 100 burglaries in the last three years, the Tokyo Broadcast System reports.
Inui reportedly said that he was led to commit the crimes due to dwindling support for his game of choice, “Dead or Alive” and that he used proceeds from the burglaries to cover his living expenses.
Playing under the handle “Katsuninken,” Inui won the “Dead or Alive Ultimate” tournament at the World Cyber Games 2005 in Singapore. At 20 years old, Inui earned $US15,000 for first place and the title of champion. Inui did not place in the “Dead or Alive 4” tournaments held at WCG 2006 and WCG 2007, which where held in Monza, Italy and Seattle, Washington. In the following years, support for the “Dead or Alive” series slowly dwindled, even as the esports industry experienced a boom.
“Dead or Alive 6,” the latest game in the series, was released on March 1st, days after Inui allegedly broke into the 84-year-old woman’s apartment. Developer Koei Techmo is offering $US90,000 in base prize money for the “Dead or Alive 6” World Championship this year; the prizes are spread across 12 international events. The most successful professional tour for fighting games like “Dead or Alive,” the Capcom Pro Tour, awarded about $US680,000 in prize money for “Street Fighter V” tournaments during 2018.
While the allegations against Inui come more than a decade after his esports success, the saga highlights the lack of longterm security for professional video game players in Japan. The country has rules that restrict most players from earning large amounts of money from video games, and views unlicensed competition for prize money in the same vein as gambling.
With translation work by Samantha Lee.
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