For the second time this offseason, Counter Logic Gaming finds itself punished for poaching.
This time Riot Games penalized the team for tampering with former Dignitas top laner Darshan “ZionSpartan” Upadhyaya, who joined Counter Logic Gaming on Nov. 7 amid allegations the team had illegally contacted him during his time with Dignitas.
According to Riot Games, Yiliang “DoubleLift” Peng approached Upadhyaya about joining Counter Logic while the top laner was still under contract with Dignitas.
Peng will suffer a $2,500 fine, while Counter Logic Gaming must pay $2,000 and play without Upadhyaya for the first week of the League Championship Series.
The fines are small compared to December’s $10,000 poaching levy after Counter Logic Gaming illegally contacting William “Scarra” Li and then acting evasively in the investigation.
Riot Games states the penalties were lessened due to Counter Logic Gaming cooperating with the investigation. But that “cooperation” only came after the team was heavily fined for the case involving Li, despite public reports indicating the team was involved in foul play with Upadhyaya.
Whatever the case, the door is now closed on the Counter Logic Gaming poaching saga. The team is out a total of $12,500, plus $2,500 on Peng himself, and will play the first week of the season without Upadhyaya, and the first three weeks without Li.
Whether its worth it remains to be seen. Upadhyaya played well in his debut at Intel Extreme Masters Cologne, but the team needs more to see them reach the top of the League of Legends.