Turkish Challenger team's spot allegedly held ransom by former player
The Beşiktaş Black Eagles Academy team was looking forward to their Turkish Challenger League match this week against fellow hopefuls Season 5 Crew. The victor would be one step closer to entering the Turkish equivalent of the League Championship Series. The team, now called Idiot Blumi, would never get that opportunity, however, after a former player and manager allegedly demanded money in exchange for allowing them to play.
The problems began following the mutual decision to change the AD carry role occupied by Ozan "Honos" Aydoğdu. Although Aydoğdu had been the team captain, the players decided it was best for the upcoming tournament to bring in a replacement. The team kept Aydoğdu as a nominated substitute, and he stayed on to act as the official point of contact for the team.
“It sucks, because it was my future."
Then, just 48 hours before they were due to play, Aydoğdu allegedly threatened to forfeit the game, demanding to be compensated for his involvement. The offer was simple: pay €20,000 or he would inform Riot that the players didn’t want to play. For added measure, he started adding his colleagues to the official roster, saying he'd have them play in place of the other players if they didn’t comply.
The team’s jungler, Marcus “Blumigan” Blom, explained the situation.
“When we originally created the team together, we had to have one person submit the roster” he told the Daily Dot. “[Aydoğdu] told us it didn’t matter who did it and that he would. This then made him the ‘owner’ of the team slot, which we only found out was a problem after he stood down from the team.”
The players hadn’t realised the extent of the control Aydoğdu could exercise, mistakenly believing that a spot was owned by the majority of a team rather than the individual who registered. When he started to demand money for the spot, Blom decided to contact members of the Riot Turkey team directly.
“It felt like blackmail,” he said. “I didn’t think that this would be allowed.”
After speaking with several Riot Turkey staff members, Blom was told that nothing could be done and that the final decision had to lie with the person who registered the team. Despite arguing that they had five registered players who didn’t want any involvement, their protests fell on deaf ears. Blom then decided to contact Riot’s Esports Coordinator J.T. “Tiza” Vandenbree. Blom was optimistic, but that proved short-lived.
“There are two sides to the coin” Vandenbree told the player over Skype “and if you're surprised at this point then there is a portion of responsibility. Not to say that it's your fault that somebody acted differently than you expected, but that you were in a situation where you trusted someone. Trust is good, but business is business”
“It felt like blackmail.”
Somewhat dejected after this meeting, Blom then received his first piece of good news. Aydoğdu was willing to forego the €20,000 provided the team recognize him as an owner and president of the organization. When Blom and his colleagues rejected this offer, they were kicked from the roster. Four low diamond players, apparently Aydoğdu's friends, were then put in their place. That team, and not Blom and his teammates, will now go on to take their shot in the Challenger tournament.
The original team are already heading their separate ways, and some have received offers to play with other teams. Blom felt that team, however, was best positioned to go far in the competition. But now he'll never know.
“It sucks” Blom said, “because it was my future. It’s a lesson though, especially in regions like this. There are so many wannabes who will use players to try and make money or to try take advantage of your talents. It seems the rules let them.”
Image via Free Grunge Textures/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)