Riot sets precedent with NA LCS bans to Renegades and Team Impulse


Two NA LCS spots are now open for purchase after Riot dishes out the death penalty.

Late last night, Riot set a huge precedent when they announced bans of three teams associated with the North America League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS): Team Impulse (TIP), Renegades (REN) and Team Dragon Knights (TDK).

TIP have failed to give valid contracts to their players while making false claims that they have. On top of that, since last Summer Split, TIP have been “chronically late” in paying their players the league minimum – and according to Riot’s report – several team members are still owed multiple months of pay.

TIP have been fined $20,000 and are banned from participating in the LCS. TIP’s management has until 11:59 PST on May 18 to sell all rights to their LCS spot.

It makes a lot of sense knowing that TIP have been trying to find more investors or sell their team for the past two splits.

The REN-TDK details are much more complex than TIP’s, and Riot has separated the issues into three categories: team ownership, player welfare and competitive integrity.

Riot has evidence that current REN owner Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles had a deal in place with suspended former owner Chris Badawi to give him 50 percent ownership once his suspension was up. If MonteCristo made this news known to Riot, REN would not have been allowed on the NA LCS.

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For player welfare, Riot states that REN have failed to meet professional standards by “having confrontations between management and players, refusal to honor payment and contract provisions and failure to maintain a safe environment for all team members.”

TDK finally gets involved with the competitive integrity. The two teams made some sketchy roster moves with each other during the past split, and it is now official that all of that was not done correctly. According to Riot’s report, some of the traded players were paid and/or still lived with their former team. Riot stated: “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.”

REN are now banned from any Riot-sanctioned league and must sell all rights to their LCS spot by 11:59 p.m. PST on May 18. TDK will not be allowed to participate in the Challenger Series Summer Split and have until May 18th to sell their spot.

Badawi is now permanently banned from any association with a team in a Riot-sanctioned league and MonteCristo is banned for one year from holding any ownership or position with a team in a Riot-sanctioned league. This does not affect MonteCristo’s work as a broadcaster or analyst, however.

There hasn’t been any backlash or fighting the announcement from TIP, but that’s not the case with the REN situation. Things got ugly immediately.

Badawi also made a statement on Reddit: “I don’t even know what to say to this. Players unsafe environment? I can’t even imagine what they are referring to. A secret deal with Monte? One simply does not exist. Not fulfilling contractual obligations? I’m beyond baffled – none of it is true. I’ve spoken with Alex, Alberto, RF, Flarez, Maple and Haku and they don’t have a clue what Riot is talking about either. Had no warning, reading if for the first time with you. I’m just floored at the injustice and randomness of this ruling.”

REN have already had some back up from not only their players but others as well.

The fact that neither MonteCristo or Badawi were made aware of this process or given the opportunity to defend Riot’s findings is what’s most disturbing about all of this.

MonteCristo and Badawi could have knowingly done all these things and are simply lying to us, but that isn’t the point. This type of system doesn’t seem right, and it could lead to Riot getting something extremely wrong down the road. And for all we know, this could be that moment where they are wrong. If that is the case and MonteCristo and Badawi feel that this is an injustice, the two of them should come together to actually fight this ruling.

It isn’t right that Riot is able to come out and make decisions like this without giving any proof, and saying “trust us, we have evidence” is not good enough.

This certainly isn’t the last we’ll hear about this situation with REN.

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