The co-owner of North American esports organization Renegades was banned from the League Championship Series (LCS) backstage Sunday amid an ongoing debate over a ruling that’s seen him banned from the league for a year.
An attendee noticed a printed image of Chris Badawi taken from a Daily Dot article on the front security desk. The words “No Access” were written next to his name. When asked the security guard said that Badawi was “banned” from the venue.
Badawi seemed surprised that he’d be banned from the venue itself. “I suppose I could understand being banned from any backstage areas,” he told the Daily Dot “but if I am banned from the venue I find that surprising. I attended last weekend without any incident or complaints.” Riot Games later contacted him to tell him the venue ban was a “mistake” and told the Daily Dot that the ban only applied to the backstage area.
In its ruling, Riot alleged that Badawi had tampered with players for Team Liquid, ordering him to divest ownership in Renegades should that team qualify for the LCS, and prohibiting him from taking part in any LCS events.
Badawi’s backstage ban happened the day after his first public statement on the matter, in which he said he had no plans to appeal the ruling. He also challenged the Riot ruling on two grounds.
The first was something that Riot itself acknowledged in its public ruling: That one of the rules Badawi allegedly violated was introduced after the incidents took place. Badawi also pointed out that one of the rules also only applied to LCS and Challenger Series teams, but Badawi’s team was in neither league at the time the conversations took place. As such many have felt the ruling, especially given how extreme the punishment is compared to other organizations that have been found guilty of poaching have received, is egregious.