In a ruling issued by Riot Games on May 9th this year, the teams Renegades and The Dragon Knights (TDK) have been banned from competition within Riot-sanctioned tournaments. In the ruling, Renegades were found to have knowingly violated a ruling against former manager Chris Badawi despite his banned status after having previously broken the official rules of the LCS. Badawi was found last year to have solicited 2 players from Team Liquid before the end of their contract and as such received a suspension from the LCS. Renegades current owner Christopher Mykles apparently had a deal in place with Badawi that once his suspension was lifted, they would share a 50% stake in the team, a deal which is against LCS rules. Under the new ruling, Badawi has been permanently banned from any involvement in the LCS and Mykles has been given a 1 year suspension. Furthermore, Renegades management was found to have broken several rules regarding trade agreements and player welfare, with reports stating that Renegades management were caught in confrontations with players, refused to honor their payments and fostered and unsafe environment for their players.
In terms of The Dragon Knights offenses, they purportedly misled Riot officials as to their relationship with the Renegades team. Both teams had stated that they had no affiliation, however it was found during the inquiry in Renegades business that players who had been traded had been given monetary compensation or housing by their previous team. The Dragon Knights have been suspended from the upcoming Summer Championship Series.
To the average player, a lot of this is legal jargon. LCS rulings tend to be a minefield and more and more teams seem to be breaking rules every other month. My heart goes out to anyone trying to tread their way through all this red tape. However, in regards to the rules regarding player welfare and treatment from managers, I can’t help but side with Riot. No one can tell what goes on in a pro players team once their stream finishes, but seeing as how the LCS is a stressful environment and several players have cited stress and mental health problems as their reason for leaving the pro gamer profession, I’m going to assume not shouting at the players is part of a managers job. As always, do unto players as you want done onto you, whether you’re their manager, supporter or jungler. A little kindness goes a long way, folks!