Cloud9 Owner Alleges Renegades Co-owner Attempted to Poach C9 Players
C9 claims Renegades co-owner approached Yusui and Hard.
Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne has responded to the Chris Badawi ruling last week. Speaking to GameSpot, Etienne alleges that Badawi approached Cloud9 Tempest player David "Yusui" Bloomquist who was not under contract at the time. However, Etienne does claim that Badawi also approached C9T player Anthony "Hard" Barkhovtsev who was under contract with Cloud9.
Etienne's statement is as follows:
"Initially I wanted to avoid getting involved in this discussion because I thought Riot’s stance was fair and the punishment was correct. To me, it was a done deal. However, with the continued debate regarding the matter I felt that sharing my experiences was the right thing to do.
Over the last few months Chris has contacted two of my players that I'm aware of. The first was Yusui who was not under contract at the time so there are no issues with that specifically. However, in that conversation with Yusui, Chris told Yusui that he is working with Locodoco to build a team and at that point in time Locodoco was definitely under contract with TSM. It concerned me that Chris was claiming to be working with Locodoco as the boundaries had definitely crossed if that was the case.
The second C9 player that was contacted by Chris, that I’m aware of, is Hard. This player was under contract with C9 and Chris did not have approval from C9 to speak with Hard. To make matters worse Hard is a minor and during his conversation with Hard Chris asked him for information that is confidential. It’s just straight up wrong that he was asking this information from a minor. Additionally, Hard asked Chris if he had permission from C9 to talk to him about his contract and Chris directly said, “No. I do not have permission to talk with you. But I would rather talk with you first to find out where you stand.”
That sentence right there—the way he phrased that is specifically why the poaching rules are in place. He’s trying to go around a contract he knows is in place, to talk to my players, to get confidential information from them before he ever approaches me.
Esports is maturing every year and the owners being brought into the LCS are higher and higher caliber. And I really applaud Riot working hard to foster this maturation process of LCS owners and I feel that Chris currently doesn’t have what it takes to be an LCS owner given the two experiences I’ve had with him and the other stories that have come to light."