Riot Just Banned Three Teams From Playing Competitive League Of Legends
Developer Riot Games has just barred three teams from participating in future competitive League Of Legends contests.
Two professional teams from the North American League Of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS), Team Impulse and Renegades, as well as Challenger Series’ Team Dragon Knights, were dealt the news following a pair of competitive rulings released on Sunday. All three teams will now be forced to sell their spot in the LCS within ten days due to the reported misconduct.
Riot doesn’t take this kind of action lightly; the studio has detailed serious accusations against the owners of both LCS teams. The allegations include a failure to pay players, poor treatment of players and a failure to properly disclosure information to the board that would have brought a team rosters’ legitimacy into question.
Team Impulse, who finished the Spring Split placed 9th in the NA LCS, has seen its management accused of “repeatedly failed to pay their players on time and to provide valid contracts for their players,” even going as far as to reportedly submit “summary sheets which falsely claimed that full contracts existed” in March 2016.
Riot notes that this has been a ‘chronic’ problem that has plagued Team Impulse players, many of whom failed to receive the League-mandated minimum player compensation during the entire 2015 Summer Split. If you’re new to competitive League, this basically means that the players (many of which use the LCS as their full-time career) weren’t paid for a number of months on end.
The charges brought against Renegades (who ended the Spring Split in eighth) and Team Dragon Knights are far more severe.
The ruling states that Chris Badawi – the suspended Renegades owner who was banned following allegations of player poaching last year – still had dealings with the team. The ruling goes on to declare that current team owner Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles agreed a 50% ownership stake with Badawi that would go into affect as soon as his ban was lifted. MonteCristo has subsequently been banned from representing any LCS team for one year.
That isn’t all though, the ruling also states that Renegades was failing to maintain a safe environment for its team members or honour its salary agreements. It’s also been noted that Renegades has had a difficult relationship with team TDK, following a string of player trades between the two teams.
“Both REN and TDK were found to have provided incomplete and/or inaccurate answers and documents to deliberately hide a relationship and interactions which exceed acceptable bounds,” Riot stated. “Co-mingled finances and operations can lead to establishment of influence between teams that forces one party into non-beneficial decisions (like trading away strong players) and, at worst, unfair play (described in Rule 10.1 of the LCS ruleset) – that’s why such arrangements are expressly forbidden in the LCS ruleset and Team Agreement.”
Chris Badawi took to Reddit to defend himself from the allegations, stating:
“I don’t even know what to say to this. Players unsafe/unsafe environment? I can’t even imagine what they are referring to. A secret deal with Monte? One simply does not exist. Not fulfilling contractual obligations? I’m beyond baffled – none of it is true. I’ve spoken with Alex, Alberto, RF, Flarez, Maple and Haku and they don’t have a clue what riot is talking about either. Had no warning, reading it for the first time with you. I’m just floored at the injustice and randomness of this ruling.”
MonteCristo used Twitter to declare his innocence, adding, “Needless to say, all of Riot’s accusations are baseless. We made an approved trade with TDK and followed all league rules.”
All three teams will be given until 11:59pm PST on 18 May to sell all rights and legal claim to their LCS/CS spots.
It isn’t yet clear what impact this will have on the upcoming NA LCS Summer Split, more on this as it develops.