TSM: A Lawyer Breaks Down All the Doublelift, Leena, Dardoch Drama

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
4 of 4
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

From this discussion, you may assume that my end conclusion is that all of this behavior was fine and not worthy of any punishment or scrutiny. That is not what I am trying to say.

What I am trying to say is, absent any sort of California law or LCS/Riot regulation that prohibits this type of conduct by team managers, Leena and Doublelift have not violated any standards that would cause them or TSM to be punished. In short, they and TSM did nothing wrong, but I do think it was wrong what they did.

That may seem like semantics and a very weasley, lawyerly take on this situation, but it is the unfortunate truth. By most legal principles, nothing wrong has been done and we cannot punish people for rules that were not set at the time they did something.

The fact that this conduct was (likely) permissible under LCS rules is a question that Riot and the LCS must deal with. Given the fact that they previously held an investigation, I would bet they also found that any conflicts of interest that would exist would hurt TSM, and the organization likely agreed to assume that risk.

TSM is getting a fantastic ADC in Doublelift, they’re attempting re-write the wrongs of a roster move they were lambasted for years, and they’re trying to win games. It is not a hard stretch to say that this would be a move that the organization would have taken independent of Leena’s influence. That may be worth the risk that Leena may not always act purely for the benefit of TSM.

However, for optics of the team and the league as a whole, this situation certainly doesn’t make it seem that this trade was done above board. It seems likely that Doublelift and Leena coordinated to make this move to TSM happen once things got rocky on Team Liquid and that Leena has not been the best at separating her business dealings from her personal life, especially when her personal life can affect her business dealings.

Hopefully, this will incentivize Leena and the TSM management to be better about their organizational structure and how to conduct their business professionally. As some commentators have pointed out, the biggest harm from all of this will likely be in the form of players and coaches avoiding the organization due to perceived improper conduct and poor management. That has, unfortunately, been one consistent of TSM that has yet to change.

Next. Ranking the 50 greatest LCS players of all time. dark

In addition, Riot should make sure to take a look at their rules regarding players, organizations, and how relationships are handled. If it was all above board, the relationship was disclosed, Leena recused herself from the decision, and Riot determined no party breached their obligations to cause the trade, they should provide us that context. For now, they should make clear what the rules on poaching are and explain exactly what evidence existed that TSM did not breach these or other relevant rules.

Leena’s decisions were unquestionably poor and she has likely done harm to her organization, her reputation, and several of her players. For all the people crying for her to be relieved of her position, for the trade to be nullified, or for Riot to take action, keep hydrated. I don’t expect anything will happen other than an apology.