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Riot set a new precedent in their latest competitive ruling, focusing its punishment on the organization, and making clear that the players were not at fault. Violating payment agreements, Team Immunity the organization(and it’s owners), not the players – has been banned from competing in any official League of Legends tournament for 2 years. Riot has also ensured that players will receive the payments owed to them, and will allow them to continue competing in the OPL under a new organization, retaining their OPL spot.

 

Competition Ruling: Team Immunity

 

by Riot CptStupendous 

 

Team: Team Immunity
Region: Oceania
Date of Ruling: September 22nd 2015
Subject: Violation of OPL Team Agreement

TL:DR – Team Immunity, an OPL pro team, has failed to meet the requirements of their OPL Team Agreement by not paying minimum match payments to their players. Despite warnings, Team Immunity failed to pay their players within a set time of receiving payment from Riot in consecutive splits.

We will therefore not be allowing the owners or the organisation of Team Immunity to compete in the OPL or any official League of Legends tournament for 2 years. We will ensure that all players receive the match payments owed to them, and will allow those players to continue playing in OPL as/with a new organisation.

Background

Teams in the OPL sign an agreement with Riot in which they agree to pay a minimum match payment to their players within a set period. In split 1 of the 2015 season, the OPL required teams to remit match payments to players within 30 days of receiving payment from Riot. In split 2 of the 2015 season, the OPL required teams to remit match payments to players within 21 days of receiving payment from Riot.

In both splits, multiple reports from players alleged that Team Immunity failed to pay them their owed match payments within a reasonable margin of time. Upon investigation, we confirmed that these payments were outstanding within the agreed-upon time period and that Team Immunity were in violation of their team agreement.

Ruling

The organisation known as Team Immunity and their ownership will not be approved for participation in the 2016 OPL League and will be prohibited from involvement with any team competing in any League of Legends fixture for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, after which time a review will be conducted. To avoid doubt, this includes any Riot-sanctioned competition including professional, semi-professional, and university competitions.

In regards to the 2016 season, the registered players of Team Immunity will be offered their earned slot in the League should they choose to compete as another organisation.

The registered players will also be eligible for voting in the 2015 International Wildcard All Stars.

 

Commentary

As esports grows, so does the investment required of professional players who compete at the highest level. The OPL believes it is important that professional players in Oceania receive match payments to compensate them for the time and effort they put into their play, as well as the pressures they face. We believe it is unacceptable for organisations to repeatedly withhold or delay payments owed to their players.

Unfortunately, Team Immunity has repeatedly proven they are not capable of operating at the standards we expect on behalf of their players and fans. The players themselves, however, have done nothing wrong here, and we will work with them as they decide what path to follow in the 2016 season of OPL.

 

Source

image credit: lolesports

As team Impulse adjusts to their new mid laner Austin ‘Gate‘ Yu in a 3-0 sweep over Team Dignitas, Riot has finally spoken up on Yu ‘XiaoWeiXiao‘ Xian. Doling out their official ruling, it remains to be seen if the Team Impulse mid laner will remain with the team.

 

By Hunter ”Riot Hebble” Leigh

TL;DR

 

Xian “XiaoWeiXiao” Yu Elo boosted one account, was in talks to boost further accounts, and was also negotiating the sale of an unlocked account granted to LCS pros. As a result of these actions, he is ineligible for competitive play in any Riot-affiliated League of Legends competition until February 2016.

 

FACTS

 

On July 21, LCS officials were made aware of evidence suggesting that Xian “XiaoWeiXiao” Yu was engaged in Elo boosting. Further investigation also suggested that XiaoWeiXiao had been in talks to sell an account with all champion skins unlocked to the same party who paid him to Elo boost. XiaoWeiXiao came forward shortly after allegations were made public and admitted to LCS officials that he had Elo boosted one account even after allegedly being discouraged from doing so by his Elo boosting associate. After further inquiry, he denied boosting any other accounts or negotiating to sell an account.

Over the next several days, LCS officials discovered evidence that XWX had been attempting to sell an unlocked account in addition to Elo boost. After a second interview with XiaoWeiXiao where he was presented with the evidence, he admitted that he had been attempting to sell an account to the same party who paid him to Elo boost. LCS-unlocked accounts have all in-game content unlocked and are given to LCS players as a privilege for participating in the LCS.

 

CONTEXT

 

ELO BOOSTING

Sharing accounts and engaging in Elo boosting not only violates the Terms of Service, but has many negative effects on the community. Elo boosting produces unbalanced games, devalues the commitment many players make to earn their rankings, and endangers account security.

There are a number of factors that we consider whenever we’re assessing a penalty for any violation of LCS rules. We also look for whether players are aware of the severity of the violation – we have repeatedly stressed to players that Elo boosting is impermissible and harms other players. We also look for precedent, which in this case includes recent rulings issued in other leagues which have levied suspensions ranging from six months to a year for Elo boosting. Lastly, we took into account the fact that XiaoWeiXiao had boosted only one account and admitted misconduct to LCS officials, though he did make several misrepresentations to LCS officials such as denying that he was aware he was working with an Elo booster.

We have multiple examples of Elo boosting punishments globally and this is something we’ve taken a firm stance on as a league. Pros, including XiaoWeiXiao, are aware that Elo boosting is a violation of league rules and he went ahead despite that knowledge. As a result of his Elo boosting, XiaoWeiXiao will be banned from participating in any Riot-affiliated League of Legends competition for six months, retroactive to July 21, 2015, when he first admitted misconduct.

 

ATTEMPTED SALE OF LCS-UNLOCKED ACCOUNT

Account selling is a violation of the Terms of Service. The attempted sale of an LCS unlocked account is a particularly acute breach of trust since these accounts are offered as a special privilege to LCS pros to honor their achievement of competing in the highest level of competition in their region.

In weighing what an appropriate penalty would be in this case, we took into account that while XiaoWeiXiao was negotiating the sale of the account to his Elo boosting associate he ultimately did not sell the account in question.

As a result of attempted account selling of an LCS-unlocked account to a known Elo booster, XiaoWeiXiao will be banned from participating in any Riot-affiliated League of Legends competition for an additional month.

 

RELEVANT RULES

 

10.2.8 Player Behavior Investigation

If LCS or Riot determines that a Team or Team Member has violated the Summoner’s Code, the LoL Terms of Use, or other rules of LoL, LCS officials may assign penalties at their sole discretion.

 

COMPETITION PENALTIES

 

XiaoWeiXiao is ineligible for all Riot-affiliated League of Legends competition until February 21, 2016.

 

Q&AS

 

What about Alex Gu and Team Impulse management? Is there any reason to believe they were involved?

XiaoWeiXiao made use of Alex Gu’s PayPal account to collect payment for Elo boosting, which raised questions about whether Alex or TIP management was involved in the alleged Elo boosting. After speaking with Alex and XiaoWeiXiao, both denied any involvement or knowledge of TiP management in XiaoWeiXiao’s Elo boosting or attempted account selling. Both maintained that when XiaoWeiXiao first began streaming in the United States he found that he could not set up a PayPal account without a Social Security Number, so he opted to use Alex’s instead in order to collect stream donations. Other members of Team Impulse corroborated that Alex never discussed or encouraged Elo boosting with team members. Alex maintains that neither he nor any other TiP players used the PayPal account; XiaoWeiXiao was the primary user of the account. XiaoWeiXiao maintained that he acted alone, without the participation of TIP management or his teammates.

Our investigation ultimately uncovered no evidence to indicate that Alex Gu was knowingly involved with XiaoWeiXiao’s Elo boosting or attempted account selling.

 

Was Rush involved in the Elo boosting?

While Elo boosting, XiaoWeiXiao duo queued many of his games with his teammate Rush to help boost the account more quickly. When asked, both players denied that Rush knew that XiaoWeiXiao was Elo boosting. Based on our conversations with XiaoWeiXiao, Rush, and several other sources we believe that Rush did not realize that XiaoWeiXiao was Elo boosting. As a result, we are not penalizing Rush in connection with this case.

 

Why does XiaoWeiXiao’s penalty for Elo boosting differ from other recent Elo boosting cases, like HKES Raison?

XiaoWeiXiao has only been found to have Elo boosted one account. Raison’s case differed because he was found have boosted a much greater number of accounts and was a much more severe case of Elo boosting.

 

Image via lolesports

NALCS-800x315px

 

Chris Badawi, part owner of LCS team TDK, and CS team LA Renegades, will have to reapply to join the LCS as an owner in 2017 if he wishes to serve in the LCS in the owner, coach, or manager capacity. Riot has released an official statement, found below.

 

By RiotNickAllen

TL;DR

 

Chris Badawi, current part-owner of LCS team Team Dragon Knights (TDK) and CS team Renegades (RNG), solicited a player under contract with Team Liquid to join his team. After doing so he was notified by Team Liquid’s owner and LCS officials that soliciting LCS players under contract was a violation of league tampering rules and could disqualify him for consideration as an owner, coach, or player. Despite the warning, he again tampered with another Team Liquid player shortly thereafter. Due to this pattern of willful tampering, we are declining to certify Chris Badawi as an eligible LCS owner and issuing a one-year ban on him holding any officially recognized LCS team position (i.e. owner, coach, manager). In order for TDK and RNG to be eligible to play in the LCS next season, Chris will have to divest his ownership stake in both teams.

 

SUMMARY

 

Over the last month and a half we have received numerous reports from parties directly involved with the LCS of alleged misconduct by current Renegades (formerly Misfits) owner, Chris Badawi, who is also a part-owner of the LCS team TDK. After concluding an investigation into these reports we have determined that he has engaged in tampering on multiple occasions. Given his repeated pattern of misconduct, we are declining to certify Chris Badawi as eligible to be an LCS owner and issuing a ban on him holding any officially recognized LCS team position (ie. owner, coach, manager) for the remainder of the 2015 season and the entirety of the 2016 season.

Ownership in the LCS is a major responsibility, and requires a relationship built on trust between the owner and all members of the league. In this case, Badawi’s actions as a team owner have shown a lack of integrity, challenging that trust and disqualifying him from consideration as an LCS owner at this time.

 

FULL CONTEXT

 

This week, we concluded a full investigation into several allegations of tampering against Chris Badawi, current owner of Renegades (formerly Misfits). Our investigation confirmed that Badawi engaged in tampering– inappropriately influencing a player under contract with one organization to consider joining another– specifically against Team Liquid on two separate occasions. He was also dishonest about it to LCS officials during the standard screening for entry into the LCS that all prospective LCS owners must undergo before being approved (in this case, TDK submitted Badawi as a part-owner).

In the first incident, Badawi approached LCS player Yuri “KEITH” Jew while he was under contract with Team Liquid in an attempt to recruit him to Misfits, including discussing salary. Upon being made aware of this contact, Team Liquid owner Steve Arhancet warned Badawi that soliciting players under contract with an LCS organization without first getting permission from team management was impermissible. After his conversation with Arhancet, Badawi then reached out to KEITH and asked him to pretend their conversation had never happened if questioned by Team Liquid management.

Following the first incident, Badawi spoke with LCS officials in early February to discuss the CS and LCS poaching and tampering rules. After discussing how tampering and poaching rules operate in CS and LCS and having numerous questions answered, he was directly told tampering was impermissible and was given the following condition of entry into the league in writing: “At some point owners, players, coaches, are all behavior checked and if someone has a history of attempting to solicit players who are under contract, they may not pass their behavior check.”

Following this discussion with LCS officials, Badawi approached Diego “Quas” Ruiz, who was also under contract with Team Liquid. During discussions with Quas, he suggested that Quas consider leaving Team Liquid – in addition, he made an explicit offer that Misfits would offer a higher salary than Team Liquid if Quas were to join his team. Both of these statements constitute tampering. When questioned about approaching Quas, Badawi originally denied that the conversation had happened. However, after media reports about his discussions with Quas became public he later admitted to LCS officials that he had engaged in impermissible conversations with Quas regarding leaving Team Liquid and had offered him a spot on Misfits. He still denied having offered him a salary, a statement which we ultimately determined to be false.

When we considered appropriate penalties, we took into account the fact that Badawi had engaged in multiple instances of tampering, even when aware of the ruleset which expressly forbids it and after being directly briefed about tampering rules by LCS officials. Tampering is an offense which we take very seriously, and recent events have shown that our previous penalties are not achieving the goal of deterring organizations from this kind of unscrupulous behavior. As a result, we are taking a harder line on tampering and poaching to ensure that it is clear that they are unacceptable.

Due to the repeated pattern of soliciting players under contract, we are declining to certify Chris Badawi as eligible to be an LCS owner and issuing a one-year ban on him holding any officially recognized LCS team position (i.e. owner, coach, manager).

 

RULING

 

Chris Badawi will not be accepted in any official LCS position for any team for the remaining 2015 and entire 2016 season. If Renegades qualify for the LCS during the 2015 promotion tournament, they will be required to declare another owner or will be denied entry into the LCS.

In addition, Badawi currently owns a minority stake of TDK. In keeping with this ruling, we will require TDK to replace or resell his stake in the team’s ownership – if not completed by playoffs, the team will face disqualification.

 

Q&A

 

Q: What does this mean for the players on Renegades?
 

A: The Renegades players are in no way implicated in this ruling– the penalty is solely against Chris Badawi as owner, and it is our hope that this has as little as possible impact on the Renegades players. It’s up to the team as to what their next steps are, but this can be settled by either selling the ownership slot to another individual, or (as has been the policy for CS spot ownership in previous splits) offering up the slot to the players.

 

Q: Chris Badawi wasn’t a member of the league when he engaged in this tampering, is it fair to penalize him for breaking a rule he may not have thought he was covered by?
 

A: Entry to the LCS is a multi-step process that involves not only qualification through the Promotion Tournament, but also meeting the professionalism bar of the LCS. In the case of players and coaches, this includes things like abiding by the Summoner’s Code and LoL – for prospective owners, this also includes vetting based on past actions. In this case, Chris Badawi was warned in writing by LCS officials that further tampering might challenge his entry into the LCS as an owner – the fact that he continued to engage in these behaviors shows us that he does not currently meet the professionalism requirement of being an LCS member.

 

Q: Does this effectively ban Chris Badawi from working within esports?
 

A: No. Chris Badawi is free to work within any esports organization he chooses, including Renegades. Our only stipulation is that he cannot currently serve in a recognized LCS capacity (owner, coach, manager) due to these incidents. If he would like to reapply to join the league as an owner in 2017, we would be willing to reevaluate his application and potentially approve it.

 

Q: This seems like a pretty long time to keep someone out of the league. Is tampering really such a big deal?
 

A: To recap some of the issues we discussed in a previous post, poaching protections are important both for the stability of organizations and to avoid situations in which legitimate contracts are undermined by competing offers from other teams during the season without the agreement of all parties – the player, the current management, and prospective employer.

When players and teams sign a contract they are entering into an agreement that a player will play for a team during a defined period of time and be duly compensated – players abruptly dissolving their contracts due to employment discussions with other teams during the season creates a chaotic environment for teams and players and undermines stability for teams and their competitors. It also puts honest teams which comply with anti-tampering/poaching rules at a disadvantage in acquiring players.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t want players to ever switch teams or find the team that is the best fit for them – players always reserve the option of exercising buyout clauses that may exist in their contracts, discussing the possibility of being traded to another team with their management, or simply waiting until their current contract is up before engaging in any negotiation they want. Ultimately, the value of contracts goes both ways. For players, contracts provide stability and the promise of a paycheck. For teams, contracts guarantee that contracted players play for their team and if a player wants to leave a team, the team management are a necessary part of that discussion. This is an important dynamic to preserve, and tampering/poaching protections are one way of doing so.

 

RELEVANT RULES

 

3.1 Team Ownership Restriction
 

The League shall have the right to make final and binding determinations regarding Team ownership, issues relating to the multiple team restriction and other relationships that may otherwise have an adverse impact on the competitive integrity of the LCS. Any person that petitions for ownership into the LCS can be denied admission if they are found to have not acted with the professionalism sought by the LCS. Someone seeking admission into the LCS must meet the highest standards of character and integrity. Candidates who have violated this rule set or attempted to act against the spirit of these rules, even if not formally contracted to the rule set, can be denied admission into the LCS.

 

10.2.13 No Poaching or Tampering
 

No Team Member or Affiliate of a team may solicit, lure, or make an offer of employment to any Team Member who is signed to any LCS team, nor encourage any such Team Member to breach or otherwise terminate a contract with said LCS team. Violations of this rule shall be subject to penalties, at the discretion of LCS officials. To inquire about the status of a Team Member from another team, managers must contact the management of the team that the player is currently contracted with. The inquiring team must provide visibility to LCS officials before being able to discuss the contract with a player

NoL has reached out to Chris Badawi for comment.