After sitting out from the casters desk during the inaugural week of the 2015 EU LCS Summer Split, Riot has issued a surprise ruling for caster Martin “Deficio” Lynge.
Last week, we became aware of allegations involving Martin “Deficio” Lynge, a Rioter and EU LCS caster. Specific allegations were made that SK Gaming’s in-game strategy had been leaked to their opponent that day, the Copenhagen Wolves. We immediately launched an in-depth investigation and, as a precaution, removed Deficio from the broadcast and delayed the SK vs. Copenhagen Wolves scheduled game while initial inquiries took place.
Allegations were made that Deficio had discussed SK Gaming’s in-game strategy with their opponent on May 28, 2015 – and specifically with Head Coach Karl “Dentist” Krey. Over the course of our investigation, LCS officials reviewed available evidence and spoke with players and management on SK Gaming, Copenhagen Wolves, and other affected players as well as Deficio himself.
Despite evidence that Dentist had verbally claimed to Copenhagen Wolves players he was receiving information from Deficio on in-game strategy, our investigation uncovered no evidence to support this claim. While interviewing with LCS officials, Dentist admitted that in the interest of shoring up his authority with the team, he had implied to them that he was getting strategic information from Deficio, but his claims were unfounded. Based on the lack of evidence to support Dentist’s initial claims, we concluded that no strategy had been shared which could have challenged competitive integrity in this case.
However, during the course of this investigation, we were made aware that Copenhagen Wolves had offered Deficio a management position to join the organization at the conclusion of the 2015 season, and that the two parties had had ongoing conversations for the past six weeks.
Although it’s not unusual for Rioters to be approached with offers from LCS organizations, it’s important that the organization and Rioter let us know as soon as an offer is made to raise awareness around potential conflicts of interest. In this case, we believe that Deficio showed poor judgment in navigating this conflict of interest. Over the course of our investigation we found evidence indicating that Deficio had begun speaking with several active LCS players – contracted and free agents – about their future and the possibility of working with them on the Copenhagen Wolves. These conversations influenced – or had the potential to influence – player decisions on where they chose to play, and affected the competitive integrity of the LCS.
When considering consequences for Deficio’s actions, we examined whether or not there had been former precedent set within past LCS rulings. Many former rulings revolve around poaching (i.e. the CLG ruling) – the improper recruitment of a player under contract with one organization to a different one – but Deficio’s actions constituted tampering – inappropriately influencing a player under contract with one organization to consider joining another. As such, this is the first official ruling that deals specifically with tampering. Due to his former position as a pro player, Deficio has relationships with former teammates and friendships with current pros. However, his unique position as a shoutcaster and representative of the EU LCS meant that his actions were inappropriate and a breach of the trust that the League and Riot places in him.
SK Gaming vs. Copenhagen Wolves
Having reviewed all the evidence, we found no proof that Deficio shared any in-game strategy with competing teams, or affected the outcome of the game in question – SK Gaming vs. Copenhagen Wolves on Thursday, May 28. Having concluded the investigation, we stand by the result of the match.
Karl “Dentist” Krey
By making false claims (by his own admission) to his team that Deficio was providing information on other teams’ strategy, Dentist knowingly misled his own players and created the expectation that cheating was an acceptable part of team play. Equally, Dentist obstructed the investigation by changing his story and initially denying making these claims to the Copenhagen Wolves team, though he ultimately cooperated after being presented with evidence. Above all, Dentist was complicit in tampering that could compromise the integrity of the LCS. As a result, we will be suspending Dentist from the LCS until Week Four.
Martin “Deficio” Lynge
The evidence of tampering that we uncovered shows that Deficio has not lived up to the high standards of integrity we hold all Rioters to and contravened internal policies and league rules. These standards are higher than those we ask of LCS players, managers, and owners, and represent our trust in the judgment of Rioters. Despite his full cooperation with this investigation, we take this lapse in judgment extremely seriously. As such, we will be suspending Deficio from on-air duties until Week Four and in talking to Martin we’ve mutually decided to withdraw him from the casting desk for all Copenhagen Wolves games on an indefinite basis to help avoid any future conflict of interest. As a Rioter, he will also be subject to internal disciplinary measures which by law are confidential.
Furthermore, we will be restricting Deficio from being approved as a Team Member (player, coach, manager, or owner) for any LCS team for the rest of the 2015 and the entirety of the 2016 season. This does not prevent him from joining an external organization in another capacity, but given the breach of trust we feel that this ruling is important to protect the competitive integrity of the LCS and to demonstrate our intolerance for any tampering or inappropriate influence over any LCS games, teams or organizations.
Lynge has also voiced his thoughts on the ruling on his facebook. The entire post is shown below:
I want to share a personal statement in light of the recent competitive ruling.
Leading up to the summer split, I have made some poor decisions and not respected the seriousness of the matter. I should have informed Riot about my offer the moment I received it and not discussed the situation with any active LCS players. When two friends talk one thing often leads to another and opinions get shared that should have stayed private.
Throughout my career as pro player and shoutcaster, I have always been close with a lot of players and I value these relationships very highly. This will not change but I have had to learn the difference between talking to a player as friends and talking as a Rioter. It is 100% NOT okay to give opinions on career choices and to share your own potential future plans as a Rioter, as it can impact a player´s decision making. While I never intended any harm, I definitely didn’t act in the professional manner that I expect from myself and as Riot expects from me.
I want to first and foremost apologize to the fans that support me, to Riot, our broadcast team here in Europe and everyone watching the LCS. I can say that this will never happen again. My focus always has been and will remain on making this the best EU LCS split and to keep improving my shoutcasting. I will prepare and be ready for week 4 to deliver a great show.
Thank you for reading my message and thank you to everyone who follows my career and supports it.
EDIT: To address some of the comments I’ve seen, it’s absolutely not true that Riot is trying to force me to stay as a shoutcaster. They were supportive once they found out about the offer, and would be supportive in the future if I decide to pursue opportunities elsewhere. I personally WANT to stay as a shoutcaster and love the EU LCS.