LCS Team Owners Allege Badawi Previously Attempted To Break League Rules
Statements provided below.
(Update- 12:10 AM with statement from Badawi)
Following Riot Games’ banning of Chris Badawi from the LCS last week, both the organization and Badawi posted their own responses to the ruling.
GameSpot reached out to several LCS team owners for their thoughts on the situation and to obtain accounts of any dealings they may have had with the current Renegades co-owner.
Several of those owners have provided GameSpot with statements or interviews regarding their own interactions with Badawi, their thoughts on the ruling, or the conversations around poaching, compensation, and player agency that have sprung up as a result of Badawi and Renegades’ responses.
Speaking with GameSpot, Team Liquid co-owner Steve Arhancet discussed meeting Badawi following his bid to purchase Curse Academy (now Team Gravity). Arhancet also shares his feelings on the attempts to poach Yuri "Keith" Jew and Diego "Quas" Ruiz.
In an interview with GameSpot, Team Solomid owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh alleged that Badawi attempted to hire TSM management and coaching staff before approaching current TSM mid-laner Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg.
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Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne, alleged while speaking with GameSpot that Badawi approached two members of his challenger team in an attempt to have them join Misfits (now Renegades), one of whom was under contract at the time.
Speaking to GameSpot, Team Gravity General Manager Jake Fyfe claimed that Badawi attempted to influence their roster during conversations around acquiring an ownership stake in the team. Fyfe also believes Badawi implied to him that he was planning on acquiring Diego “Quas” Ruiz from Team Liquid and attempted to approach Johnny “Altec” Ru while the player was under contract.
A representative from Team Impulse has provided GameSpot with a written statement regarding the ruling. In it, TiP expressed support for the ruling by Riot Games and claimed that Badawi was provided the same assistance and support given to other team owners, but that Badawi had “constant ulterior motive-driven actions.”
Finally, Winterfox owner Brian Cordry has provided GameSpot with a written account of his interactions with Badawi surrounding an alleged attempt to prevent Renegades mid-laner Alex Ich from competing for TDK if financial compensation was provided by Cordry, possibly leading to a TDK forfeit against Winterfox in the 2015 Spring Promotion Tournament.
When asked for comment on the allegations and statements above, Riot Games provided GameSpot with the following statement:
"During the course of the investigation we heard numerous credible allegations about Chris Badawi from a number of teams and players. We investigated all of them thoroughly, but ultimately couldn't find enough evidence to definitively prove or disprove them. We hold ourselves to a very high burden of proof when investigating allegations, and in these cases felt that there wasn't enough non-anecdotal evidence to justify applying penalties. The punishment we handed down was only for the cases where we felt that we had eliminated reasonable doubt."
GameSpot has reached out to Chris Badawi for comment and will update this article when one has been provided.
(Update- 12:10 AM)
Chris Badawi has provided GameSpot with a statement in response to the accusations levied against him:
"This collection of assertions comes as a complete surprise – I am bewildered and quite puzzled. I’ll work with Travis to address these point by point at a later date. Since I was only notified an hour prior to their release (I believe this is the industry standard) I will need to actually read these statements prior to doing so. It’s hard for me to make sense out of all of this, except to say this seems like a strange and personal outburst painting me in an extraordinarily bad light without evidence of any kind. I’ll just finish by asking everyone to keep in mind that I actually haven’t poached anyone, and that whatever it is we are all about to read you take with a grain of salt."
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