Riot has banned three teams from its League of Legends competitions and handed one team owner a permanent ban.
Team Impulse, Renegades and Team Dragon Knights have all been banned from the LCS and must now sell their slots in the league. Both Renegades and Team Impulse competed in the NA LCS last split and had slots for the upcoming Summer Split. Renegades also had a Challenger Series team over in Europe. Team Dragon Knights was a team in the NA Challenger Series and finished fourth last split, retaining their spot.
Renegades has been banned due to the involvement of former CEO Chris Badawi. In 2015 Badawi was forced to step away from the team and was banned from being involved after poaching allegations. However a Riot investigation has found that Badawi is still involved with the team and therefore the organisation has been banned. Current co-owner and League of Legends caster Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles has received a one year ban from any involvement with any team while Badawi is permanently banned from all LCS franchises.
Since the ban was announced multiple members of the Renegades organisation have said they were surprised by the ban and denied any wrongdoing, including MonteCristo, Badawi and many of the organization’s players.
“I don’t even know what to say to this,” said Badawi in a Reddit post. “Players unsafe/unsafe environment? I can’t even imagine what they are referring to. A secret deal with Monte? One simply does not exist. Not fulfilling contractual obligations? I’m beyond baffled - none of it is true. I’ve spoken with Alex, Alberto, RF, Flarez, Maple and Haku and they don’t have a clue what riot is talking about either. Had no warning, reading it for the first time with you. I’m just floored at the injustice and randomness of this ruling.”
Team Dragon Knights has been banned due to breaking trade rules when dealing with Renegades. Earlier in the year Renegades added both Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong and Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo to its LCS squad, in a trade deal with Team Dragon Knights. The official Riot ruling states that players were compensated and housed by their former team after the trade had taken place, which is against the trade rules.
Team Impulse has been banned as the organisation failed to give its players contracts and failed to pay them on time. Riot’s investigation revealed that Team Impulse failed to pay players for last year’s Summer Split and the same thing happened during this year’s Spring Split. This has led them to force the organisation to sell its spot in the league, although no one from Impulse has received a permanent ban. Riot will also be adjusting its penalties for teams that don’t pay players on time to make them much harsher.
All the teams must sell their spots in the league by May 18th.