Riot hands down harsh penalties against Deficio

In a surprising move, Riot Games has handed down a competitive ruling punishing one of their own

In a surprising move, Riot Games has handed down a competitive ruling punishing one of their own.

Martin “Deficio” Lynge, the popular Danish color commentator of the European League Championship Series, will be suspended from casting through four weeks of the season. Lynge is guilty of tampering after being offered a management position with Copenhagen Wolves. Copenhagen Wolves coach Karl “Dentist” Krey also received a four-week suspension due to the incident.

In addition, Lynge will be barred from accepting a position as an “approved Team Member”—more specifically, as a player, coach, manager, or owner, as defined by the Riot ruleset—with an LCS team through the conclusion of the 2016 season.

It’s the first time Riot Games has leveled a penalty solely for tampering, not in connection with poaching.

The punishment comes after an investigation into an alleged incident regarding the May 28 match between SK Gaming and Copenhagen Wolves. Lynge allegedly fed Krey information regarding the SK Gaming strategy, something Krey told his players before the game in “interest of shoring up his authority with the team,” as Riot puts it. Riot Games found no evidence that Lynge had in fact provided information, as Krey says he lied about Lynge’s involvement to his players.

In the course of that investigation, however, they found that Copenhagen Wolves had offered Lynge a management position at the end of the Spring Split, and over the past six weeks the two parties had been discussing the possibility. That included conversations Lynge had with players, both contracted by Copenhagen Wolves and free agents, about working together on the team.

That could potentially impact the player’s decisions on which team to join, which affects the competitive integrity of the league. As such, Riot levelled the penalty against Lynge. As for Krey, he lied to his team and obstructed the investigation by first denying any allegations, leading to his own penalty.

“The evidence of tampering that we uncovered shows that Deficio has not lived up to the high standards of integrity we hold all Rioters to and contravened internal policies and league rules,” reads the Riot ruling. “These standards are higher than those we ask of LCS players, managers, and owners, and represent our trust in the judgment of Rioters. Despite his full cooperation with this investigation, we take this lapse in judgment extremely seriously.”

In addition to his four-week suspension and ban on accepting a position with a team through 2016, both Lynge and Riot have agreed that he will not commentate on matches involving Copenhagen Wolves.

Lynge offered up an apology on Facebook shortly after the announcement.

Throughout my career as pro player and shoutcaster, I have always been close with a lot of players and I value these relationships very highly… This will not change but I have had to learn the difference between talking to a player as friends and talking as a Rioter. It is 100% NOT okay to give opinions on career choices and to share your own potential future plans as a Rioter, as it can impact a player’s decision making. While I never intended any harm, I definitely didn’t act in the professional manner that I expect from myself and as Riot expects from me.

Considering the harsh punishment weighed against him for essentially discussing important life decisions with players he likely considers friends, that likely won’t be a problem for Lynge in the future.

Photo via Riot Games/Flickr