T1 top laner Canna’s future uncertain due to contract dispute with organization

His agent released a statement explaining the situation and T1 responded.

Photo via Riot Games

The League of Legends offseason can be one of the most exciting times of the year. But for some players, the journey can take them through some difficult times. T1’s top laner Canna, for example, is reportedly struggling with a contract dispute against the team, leading to uncertainty around his future for next year.

According to a statement given by Canna’s agent to Inven Global, T1 was supposed to renegotiate Canna’s 2022 salary and even promised to release the 21-year-old and let him become a free agent if both parties failed to come to an agreement. In their first official meeting to renegotiate Canna’s salary, T1 reportedly said the player requested a transfer from the team at least three times.

Those three purported instances came once before an important match at Worlds, another time after the tournament, and once more when they came back to Korea. Because these requests “hindered the team’s teamwork,” according to the statement from Canna’s agent, T1 decided to put the top laner on the transfer market and replace him on the 2022 lineup.

But after consulting with Canna and T1 general manager Choi “Polt” Seong-hun, the agency apparently found out that this was false. In reality, Canna never asked for a transfer and actually only talked to Polt about the 2022 season after the death of the team’s COO, John Kim. Canna was unsure if the deal that was verbally agreed on with John Kim could still be done, so he voiced his concerns with the general manager. T1 still wanted to transfer him to a new team, however, according to Canna’s agent.

Canna’s offseason issues didn’t end there, though. His agent claims that T1 vetoed a transfer to one team and instead agreed to a deal to send the top laner to another organization—even though the org said he could negotiate with any teams in the league. Canna’s agent is now stuck trying to get T1 to uphold its original agreement, which has left the player in limbo for 2022.

Shortly after Canna’s agent provided its statement, T1 and general manager Polt commented on the situation in a press conference. Polt said that if Canna can provide proof of his verbal agreement with John Kim, the team will gladly uphold the wishes of their former COO. In the meantime, however, the team has no obligations to make Canna a free agent.

“According to the agency, they said that we would release Canna as a free agent if we didn’t come to a settlement regarding his salary, but the original term was a mutual agreement,” Polt said. “If we weren’t to have a mutual agreement, the organization has the authority to decide and execute.”

Polt also said that although Canna’s agency has the right to handle his transfer process, the final decision lies with the team since he’s still under contract. There was no agreement that T1 would “blindly agree” with any team that offers Canna the best options, according to Polt.

“It’s regrettable to see how the agency took the course of action that can potentially dishonor the name of a deceased man,” Polt said. “While I haven’t heard the full details, I want to let everyone know that one of the teams that we’re in talks about Canna’s transfer has offered the best options for him. We at T1, especially myself, are doing everything in our power to protect our players’ rights. We all wish nothing short of the best for all our players, and hope that Canna will have a successful career as well.”

Many League fans will be curious to see how this situation unfolds and where Canna will end up next year.

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