Riot determined through two separately held investigations that the North American teams Impulse, Team Renegades and Team Dragon Knights would be banned from the League of Legends Championship Series. Impulse was banned for allegedly not paying their players and not having the proper contracts in place. Team Renegades and Dragon Knights circumstances are a bit more complex with Riot accusing them of colluding with a previously banned owner, Chris Badawi, who was banned last year from participating in anything related to Riot or League of Legends. Furthermore, the two teams made a trade that Riot said included terms that were not properly documented, nor approved by Riot.
The official line on Team Impulse is: "Over the course of this split we have received multiple serious allegations about the Renegades organization. The allegations have been centered around (1) team ownership structure and behavior, (2) player welfare and treatment within the team and (3) collusion/competitive integrity. After weeks of investigation, we have found several of the allegations to be corroborated by testimony and evidence from parties involved."
The three teams will now have to sell their spots in the league, which is not a small transaction with bids reaching into the half a million dollar range without issue when Team Dignitas found themselves in a position to sell their Leauge of Legends team previously. Riot says this is their way of ensuring that players who weren't involved in any wrongdoing don't have their stream of income or ability to play affected by the proceedings. Team Impulse has additionally been fined 20,000 dollars.
The official line for team Renegades is: "Renegades management has been found to have knowingly violated the competitive ban against Chris Badawi, misrepresented their relationship with TDK, and compromised player welfare and safety. Both the Renegades organization and TDK organization will no longer be allowed to continue participating in Riot-sanctioned leagues. In addition, Chris Badawi will be permanently banned from association or affiliation with any team or organization participating in a Riot-sanctioned league, while Christopher Mykles is banned for one year from holding any Riot-sanctioned position within a competing organization. Chris and Sean Shim of TDK are indefinitely banned from association or affiliation with an organization in a Riot-sanctioned league, subject to first review in January 2019."
Christopher Mykles of Renegades is, of course denying Riot's accusations and says he is preparing a full statement. As of now he has been banned from the league by Riot for a full year. There are also League of Legends journalists who say they have information on the way. Either way, this is the largest on record ban in what is currently the world's largest E-Sport which is a field that is expanding rapidly right now. This is going to set a huge precedent for one of the world's fastest growing industries so grab some popcorn and watch the fireworks.
What do you think of these bans? Will this impact how much you watch the LCS? Share your thoughts in the comments below!