Ocelote: 'Think twice when you see a Robin Hood or a Mother Theresa around this industry'
The allegations all surround poaching, an increasingly hot-button issue in professional League of Legends. Riot Games's punishments, usually fines, only extend to the game's highest level, the League Championship Series. So what happens when a Challenger Series outfit allegedly poaches a player from a fellow Challenger Series side?
The current back-and-forth surrounds former Gamers2 AD carry Mohammad “Jebus” Tokhi. The player joined up with North American Challenger side Misfits on May 7, shortly after Gamers2 lost to LowLandLions in the Challenger Series playoffs on March 31.
At the time, Gamers2 owner Carlos "Ocelote" Rodriguez accused Misfits of tampering and poaching. Misfits owner Chris Badawi would later came under criticism not only for his behavior in the Tokhi incident, but also for his alleged attempts to poach Team Liquid substitute AD carry Yuri “KEITH” Jew as well as other LCS players—allegations levelled by LCS team owners themselves. In an internal investigation, however, Riot only found evidence of tampering in the Jew case. The company banned Badawi from any official roles in the LCS for a year and required him to divest ownership in his team if it were to qualify for the LCS.
Now Badawi and his team—recently rebranded to Renegade—have been caught up in controversy again. It began yesterday when Rodriguez penned an open letter to Riot Games asking for more protections for Challenger teams and accused Badawi of publicly lying about his interactions with Tokhi and Gamers2. Later that evening, Tokhi posted his own statement on the issue titled "Shady, shady G2."
In that message, Tokhi claimed that he and his teammates weren't given a contract until they reached the playoffs, at which point they'd already been living in the Gamers2 team house for some time. "We were put in a situation where we had to sign the contract RIGHT BEFORE our game vs. [LowLandLions.White] whilst in the middle of playoffs or else we would get kicked out of the house," Tokhi wrote. Shortly thereafter, Tokhi says Badawi reached out to inquire about his contract situation.
"Weeks passed," Tokhi wrote, "and despite asking numerous times, Ocelote refused to send me my contract – maybe he lost it or was too embarrassed and ashamed at the prospect of me showing to someone. Anyway I decided to offer him the 80% of the Riot money he hadn’t already taken to be rid of him despite the fact that I consulted a lawyer who told me that under all these conditions the contract was invalid. The only person who deserves fault here is Ocelote and his attempt on trying to salvage his organization is pathetic. Thank God I got out, that Chris was willing to take care of me every step of the way, and that I am finally able to play on a team that treats me with dignity and respect. I’m luckier than most and grateful to Chris."
Former Gamers2 team manager Daniel Vorborg also threw his hat into the ring, claiming in a long statement that "Gamers2 delivered everything they ever promised, and more...but it wasn't guaranteed (sic) to the players in writing, which is why some parties claim the contract was voided." His account paints the situation in a fairly different light in comparison to Tokhi’s account.
The story has now gone full circle: Earlier today, Rodriguez provided another statement to the Daily Dot, this time going into deeper detail about what allegedly happened behind the scenes. According to Rodriguez, "[Tokhi] did not contact me about Misfits before I found online" (in a Daily Dot report). He also included screengrabs of Skype conversations with Tokhi, which Rodriguez claims show that Tokhi "confirms he wasn't a part of this drama and that everything was created by Badawi."
You can read the full statement below.
“As some of you have seen already, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the former G2 player 'Jebus', which I'm here to clear. I won't state I'm an angel because I'm not, but a few people are demonizing me which is far from true. Since I started my career as an entrepreneur with oceloteWorld and Gamers2 I have committed lots of mistakes that have helped me in my following endeavors. I'm perfectionist and I am vocal, I punish laziness and low quality while embracing the contrary, and I do not allow lacks of commitment or any sense of false entitlement within my companies. But along those entrepreneurial approaches I am a kind, empathic and optimistic person to work with.
I Used to always manage stuff with phone/skype calls and therefore no evidence exists from those conversations. Up until today, I didn't have the chance to defend myself from some of the accusations received by former players or analysts against myself. But today is a different day, and luck is starting to side with me in these regards, which I appreciate.
After reading Jebus' text, which happened to be believed by part of the community even though it clearly looks like a certain former lawyer was instructing the whole thing, I thought to myself: "Not again…". Luckily I found a written conversation (thank god) in my phone I can finally use to defend the truth. I invite you to check for yourself the evidence to prove that most of what Jebus said is simply untrue.
These are conversations between Jebus and I right after Badawi (Misfits and Renegades current owner) openly poached and lied about my club's internal behaviour.
In addition to the actual facts, Jebus seems to have suffered from memory loss and fails to mention that he started a fire near a gas pipe while living in the house, which could’ve resulted in the entire house exploding. The repairs from the damages alone have cost us a 4 figured EUR amount which Jebus was never asked to pay.
So I urge you to take what Jebus says in his statement with a huge grain of salt, as you can see there are always two sides of a story and in this case we delivered everything we agreed on with the team and more, which the team manager at the time Vorborg has already attested to.
TL'DR: 1. Jebus did not contact me about Misfits before I found online. 2. Jebus openly states to me that "he" (Badawi) needs the contract - Quite a special former lawyer if you ask me. 3. Jebus confirms Badawi made the "slaves" part up. 4. Jebus wants his contract (a contract he got a copy of) to share with Badawi as previously shown for unknown reasons. 5. Jebus confirms he wasn't a part of this drama and that everything was created by Badawi. 6. Jebus wants to compensate us off-camera for the damage created by his new boss. 7. I accept his apologies and make him feel soften and relieved; at the end of the day, he's just a kid. 8. He also was close to make the house explode just like Dyrus.
If anything, our mistake was not being pushy with the contracts and let so much time pass. There was no hidden reason for that, we just had so much fun in the house and were sure there would be no issues afterwards.
Think twice when you see a Robin Hood or a Mother Theresa around this industry. Devil wears Prada.
I do honest business with integrity and it has been always like that. For future arrangements, I would appreciate if you think everything through before speaking up your mind. There are always two sides of the story. Now I will enjoy the rest of my vacation, the wifi on my yacht is overheating”.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr | Remix by Jacob Wolf