After another offseason that saw teams desperately clambering to improve their squads, it seems one team has allegedly failed to follow Riot’s transfer policy guidelines.
Aspiring North American Challenger Series team Misfits, who feature veteran players Alex “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin and Alberto “crumbzz” Rengifo, reputedly made an approach to sign Team Liquid top-laner Diego “Quas” Ruiz during the off-season. This move was made without the knowledge of team management, who found out after hearing rumours about the move.
According to Riot’s rule 10.2.12, “No Team Member or Affiliate of a team may solicit, lure, or make an offer of employment to any Team Member who is signed to any LCS team, nor encourage any such Team Member to breach or otherwise terminate a contract with said LCS team.”
After learning of the approach Team Liquid’s co-owner Steve “liquid112” Arhancet has issued a complaint to Riot about the attempted poaching, and Riot is set to begin a full investigation to see if there was any wrongdoing. It’s not clear, however, if Riot will have any jurisdiction in the matter, as Misfits aren’t yet a Challenger team.
“It was brought to my attention that Quas may have been given an offer while under contract from another esports team, in speaking with Quas he verified this was true,” Arhancet said to the Daily Dot.
“I don’t stand for other orgs that intentionally seek to damage my business relationships by luring, soliciting and encouraging my players to terminate their contracts. Anti-tampering and poaching rules exist in other sports for a reason and for those same reasons they have been incorporated into the LCS rules. I hope, for the professionalism and success of esports, these types of incidents discontinue and the owners responsible are held accountable for their actions.”
Tampering and poaching is an issue that Riot have increasingly taken stern measures against. In January 2014, Team SoloMid’s star mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg was fined $2,000 for improper approaches to players after the team he was departing from, Ninjas In Pyjamas, stipulated he needed to help rebuild the roster prior to his departure. Most recently, Counter Logic Gaming was fined $10,000 for approaching two contracted Team Dignitas players,, namely Darshan “ZionSpartan” Upadhyaha in the top lane and William “scarra” Li as a coach, a move the team initially denied.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Misfits regarding these allegations and will update this story as it develops.
Update 5/16 11:30am CT: This story has been updated to include additional information about Misfit’s team status.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr