Game News

Timeline of cvMax, Griffin, KeSPA and Riot Games Korea incident

Published: 16:53, 20 November 2019
Updated: 16:58, 21 November 2019
Riot Games
League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) logo
League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) logo

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 loan Kanavi out to JD Gaming
  • According to cvMax, Cho would regularly meddle with strategy and even drafts , 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 revealed by cvMax later on
  • Cho allegedly asked Griffin players to throw a ranked game 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 having resigned from CJ Entus and the StarCraft: Brood War competitive scene following a match-fixing scandal
  • 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. No one spoke up at the meeting
  • cvMax eventually leaves , just before World Championship

Events during League of Legends World Championship 2019

Events after League of Legends World Championship 2019

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 revealed by the former coach himself , 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 one player attempting to take his own life . 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.

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