Riot Games are linked with a nasty episode following terrible management at LCK team Griffin. The incident started off with friction within Griffin but escalated enough to implicate Riot Games Korea officials in some collusion.
For the sake of brevity, the majority of this article will be a bulleted list. For context, the whole saga started escalating during the League of Legends World Championship 2019 when former Griffin coach, cvMax, started exposing the mismanagement of Cho Gyu-nam. Key events of the whole story episode happened before, during and after the tournament.
Events preceding League of Legends World Championship 2019
- Cho Kyu-nam was allegedly associated with Park Jun-kyu (Riot Games Korea head) and Oh Sang-heon (Director of Riot Korea esports) prior to everyone's involvement with Riot and League of Legends
- Griffin out to JD Gaming
- According to cvMax, Cho would regularly , despite not even knowing the full champion roster. Other instances of undermining the coach's authority were also reported
- Cho pressures Kanavi into an extended contract with JD Gaming. Also allegedly coerced the player into taking a minimal salary in order to bank a higher transfer fee. This was later on
- Cho Griffin players to throw a where four of them were teamed up with Deft who was #1 at the time in order to propel their Griffin teammate (Tarzan, #2 on the ladder) to the top, despite from CJ Entus and the StarCraft: Brood War competitive scene following a
- cvMax's relationship with Griffin top laner, Sword, deteriorated as the coach was pushing for Doran's development in scrimmage matches and on stage, benching Sword in the process
- Cho pressured cvMax into leaving the team if all the players voted he wasn't needed. at the meeting
- cvMax ,
Events during League of Legends World Championship 2019
- Griffin has a shaky start at the tournament. shows him in Griffin jersey, supportive of the team
- Viper (Griffin marksman) criticised cvMax in a . Sword (Griffin top laner) had a with both alleging cvMax is spreading lies. The coach only opened up after seeing the first interview, no allegations were made before
- cvMax goes on for two hours on his stream, exposing the wrongdoings in the team.
- Still8 (owners of Griffin)
- Riot Games Korea and KeSPA following cvMax's claims
- cvMax joins DragonX
Events after League of Legends World Championship 2019
- DragonX forming a new team from scratch. to build the team with cvMax
- Riot Games Korea and KeSPA i . Cho, who had already resigned,
- Public outcry following , seen as retaliation for whistleblowing. Cho's possible connections with Park Jun-kyu (Head of Riot Games Korea) and Oh Sang-heon (Director of Riot Korea esports) brought up by LCK followers
- Ha Tae-keung, Korean National Assembly representative, . Reiterates whistleblower protection law dictates the offenders could face up to three years in prison.
- Representative Ha
, which include:
- holding back critical information from Kanavi
- a fraudulent contract
- Griffin forging private and agency seals and documents
- Update (20 November 2019): Inven regarding cvMax's behaviour towards them
- Update #2 (20 November 2019): . Apparently .
- Update #3 (20 November 2019): .
- Update #4 (20 November 2019): (Korean equivalent of the White House) to open an investigation into the scandal. 200,000 signatures are required within one month, it was at almost 67,000 at the time of writing.
- Update #1 (21 November 2019):
- Update #2 (21 November 2019):
.States she was unaware of some terms of the contract including length and salary
Riot Games Korea did not release any evidence of cvMax physically abusing Griffin players at the time of writing. The only part of the investigation into cvMax was , as a Riot representative attempted to goad him into confessing to something he didn't do. It was alleged the person speaking to cvMax was the previously mentioned Oh Sang-heon. This allegation is pending verification.
Following the mess, it remains to be seen whether Riot Games HQ will actually react. More than five years ago, an incident regarding the terrible management of Ahq Korea resulted in . While Griffin was not constructed to throw matches on purpose, the lack of oversight and regulation is certainly hinting that not much has changed in more than half a decade.