TIP and REN Banned: Riot Kicks Team Impulse and Renegades from LCS

May 10, 2016

There is going to be more new blood than just Apex Gaming in the upcoming NA LCS Summer Split.

Riot just released competitive rulings for Team Impulse, and Renegades which effectively ban them from participating in any Riot-sanctioned leagues.

Competitive Ruling: Renegades & TDK

Renegades LCS Team
Renegades were looking much improved at the end of the Spring Split. With H2K Freeze confirmed, it doesn’t look like Renegades will be able to show us just how strong they really were under new ownership.

The tl;dr excerpt from Riot’s competitive ruling on Renegades & TDK:

TL;DR: 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.

Riot later expanded on a few things mentioned in the tl;dr:

Player Welfare

  • Concerns revolved primarily around Badawi’s conduct while serving in a non-ownership capacity.
  • Allegations include confrontations between management and players, refusal to honor payment and contract provisions, and failure to maintain a safe environment for all team members.

Independence of Teams and Competitive Integrity

  • Both teams assured officials that their businesses were not linked in any fashion, and that the trade was in the mutual interest of both teams independent of any additional relationship or agreement. Subsequently, League officials received evidence that indicated that some of the players were compensated and/or housed by their former teams even after the trade was completed, including payments for the month following the trade.
  • 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.

Renegades Ruling

  • Renegades are disallowed from participating in any Riot-sanctioned league. Renegades will be granted a grace period until 11:59pm PST on May 18th to sell all rights and legal claim to their LCS spot.
  • Chris Badawi is permanently banned from any association or affiliation with a team in a Riot-sanctioned league.
  • Christopher [MonteCristo] Mykles is banned for one year (until the start of the Summer Split in 2017) from holding any ownership or Riot-recognized position (including GM, team coach or team analyst) with any team in a Riot-sanctioned league. This ban does not extend to any casting or broadcast analyst work, as those positions are independent of team operations and not covered by this ruling.

TDK Ruling:

  • TDK will not be allowed to participate in the CS Summer Split. In order to minimize disruption to their players, TDK will be granted a grace period until May 18th to sell its spot.
  • TDK owners Chris Shim and Sean Shim are indefinitely banned from any association or affiliation with a team in a Riot-sanctioned league, with the first opportunity to apply for reinstatement for a league position on January 1, 2019.

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Competitive Ruling: Team Impulse

Team Impulse’s time in the LCS was short lived. They will be forced to sell their spot in the next 10 days.

The tl;dr excerpt from Riot’s competitive ruling on Team Impulse:

TL;DR: Team Impulse management has repeatedly failed to pay their players on time and to provide valid contracts for their players, as required by the LCS Rules and Team Agreement. League officials have, on multiple occasions, clarified requirements and even directly intervened in team operations to ensure payments, and have determined that Team Impulse does not meet League standards for a professional organization. As such, they will not be permitted to continue participating in Riot-sanctioned leagues.

The ruling goes on to explain that this isn’t a new issue for the Team Impulse organization:

Since Team Impulse took over the LCS spot from LMQ, there have been several reports of failure to sign contracts with their players or to provide prompt payment, despite multiple interventions by League officials.

And they further expand upon the allegations, including the whole not paying their players thing:

During the 2015 Summer Split, League officials learned that TIP players had not been paid for the duration of the split, and immediately intervened to ensure that MPC was paid in full to date for all players. During the investigation following the contract audit in March 2016, it was discovered that TIP had again failed to pay its players their owed MPC for the duration of the split. In addition, several players notified League officials that they had not been paid their agreed-upon full salaries (money owed in addition to the MPC), but, given the lack of proper contracts, League officials were unable to verify these claims. As of this ruling, several team members are still believed to be owed money, in some cases amounting to multiple months of pay.

Unfortunately it’s unlikely players from the 2015 Team Impulse roster will get the full amount they were promised:

 We approached TIP about this issue and they deny that they owe players from their 2015 roster any further payment. We verified that all players have received their minimum player compensation, but since there is no written contract between both parties, we have no objective way to determine who is correct about the additional money owed. That said, this situation is entirely the result of TIP management failing to have written contracts with their players, which is in part why they are not being permitted to continue in the League.

Competitive Ruling: Team Impulse

  • Team Impulse’s management has repeatedly violated its Team Agreement, and is hereby disallowed from participating in the LCS. In order to minimize disruption to their players, TIP management will be granted a grace period until 11:59pm PST on May 18th to sell all rights and legal claim to their LCS berth.
  • TIP is also fined $20,000 from its final team payment from the league.

2 LCS Spots for Sale: 10 Days Only!

How will the forced sale of two NA LCS spots affect the market for LCS teams? Certainly interested buyers will look to leverage the short time period Riot allocated to REN and TiP. Will they both sell for the average going rate? How fast, if at all, will they sell? Who will buy them?

There are a lot of questions that will be answered over the next 10 days, including whether or not new ownership will keep the existing rosters of either team. Riot has made their intentions clear by stating “We hope that any new owner would consider bringing the REN/TiP players onto the new squad.”

Meanwhile TiP support player Gate had this to say about the matter:

The upcoming NA LCS Summer Split just got a little more interesting.

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Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs is a bot lane main who once won 17 consecutive Janna games. His favorite champions are Thresh, Kalista, and Bard. Jamie writes about competitive League of Legends and the professional gaming scene every week at Esports Edition.
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