Talent Won: Comparing EDward Gaming's clearlove to H2k-Gaming's FORG1VEN

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Worlds / lolesports flickr

The battle for the first seed of Group C wasn’t just about support roams, jungle pathing, top-side pressure, deft rushing an Iceborn Gauntlet or mid-lane counterganks. It was about talent and practice, an argument that recently rushed to the forefront of the community, and two players who have had very different approaches to practice throughout their careers.

Ming “Clearlove” Kai has been playing League of Legends since 2011. He’s been part of the two greatest rosters in Chinese League of Legends history, and he's won major international events against celebrated opponents, including the IGN Pro League 5 and the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational. This is no less than his fourth appearance at the World Championship — but he has yet to make it past the quarterfinals.

Clearlove cites the World Championship as one of the primary reasons he continues playing, but the title remains elusive for one of the most accomplished non-Korean players in the game’s history. Ahead of this year's Worlds, he joked that all he wants to do is “break the quarterfinal curse.” But with EDG going up against the ROX Tigers on Saturday, their odds of success are much slimmer than they could be.

Clearlove's personal performance has improved each year that he has attended Worlds, as he has practiced hard and slowly adapted his play. Prior to 2015, he wasn’t considered an especially impressive player beyond his zoning control and the flanking sense he has in teamfights. Despite high praise from his teammates and the devastating abilities he's demonstrated in solo queue, Clearlove’s low jungle pressure, combined with teammates who preferred to stall out the laning phase, made teams like WE and EDward Gaming much more effective in the late game.

In 2015, Clearlove expressed much more creativity in his pathing and was able to convert his personal leads into lane pressure. In 2016, EDward Gaming unified much more around Clearlove to control invades and place deep vision. This was the best domestic summer season Clearlove has had individually, taking EDG through an undefeated run and only disappointing when they lost control of mid lane in the semifinal against WE. 2016’s World Championship is the first Worlds in three years where EDG weren’t placed in the same group as the tournament favorite to win.

But it happened again anyway. EDward Gaming slid into second place in Group C, and are now on a collision course with the most difficult opponent they have yet to face in the Worlds quarterfinals.

Clearlove’s career is easily juxtaposed to that of H2K-Gaming’s AD carry, Konstantinos "FORG1VEN" Tzortziou-Napoleon. Though known for his exceptional skill and good individual performances, FORG1VEN has struggled to find domestic results, in part because his style has remained somewhat fixed. He has clashed with his teammates and found himself drifting from team to team, battling his own conflicts outside the game.

RELATED: FORG1VEN on making it to the quarterfinals and thoughts on his Western competitors

Since he first entered the LCS in 2014, FORG1VEN's lane-focused playstyle has been well documented. He’s developed a wider champion pool and been able to modulate his aggression in lane over time, but he has been essentially the same player throughout. This is something to be proud of, since it speaks to the consistency of his performance. On the other hand, he has been often criticized for his stubbornness and inflexibility.

Extreme circumstances brought FORG1VEN back to H2K-Gaming after a teamless split at the conclusion of the 2016 LCS Summer Split. H2K didn’t win the EU LCS like EDward Gaming won the LPL — in fact, they only qualified for the World Championship by way of points after a grueling loss to Splyce, thanks to G2 Esports’ first place finish. An unreliable collection of European superstar talent, H2K scraped into Group C with China’s undefeated team, and they came out first.

FORG1VEN criticized EDG after their matches against H2K. In his view, they funneled too much of their resources to their bottom lane duo, Kim “deft” Hyukkyu and Tian “meiko” Ye, and left top laner Chen "Mouse" Yuhao out in the cold. He went after Clearlove as well, referring to the “deft-meiko-Clearlove” bottom lane, alluding to Clearlove's long-standing history of playing to the duo lane.

“EDG['s duo lane] were good, but how they were playing the game is really unhealthy, not only for them," FORG1VEN said in an interview after Group C concluded. "While I could understand because their top laner is not ... the greatest player, but if he is not the greatest player, sure, don't you have to help him?"

Analysis of EDG and H2K's games does not support this assessment. FORG1VEN averaged a higher percentage of team gold in the group stage overall than deft, at 26.4 percent to deft’s 24.2 percent.

As for Clearlove, he spent less time below the mid lane than H2K jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski in two out of the three matches EDG and H2K played in their group. In their second game, Clearlove spent 42.4 percent of the first ten minutes of the game on the bottom half of the map (not including time spent in the mid lane itself, or in base), compared to Jankos’ 56.1 percent; in the tie-breaker, Clearlove spent a startlingly low 22.1 percent of his first ten minutes below the mid lane, relative to Jankos’ 51.1 percent. Even in the one game where Clearlove did focus bottom more than Jankos, he still spent the majority of his time away from the bottom half of the map — only 36.1 percent of his first ten minutes were spent below mid, compared to Jankos' 31.1 percent.

Clearlove did adapt to spend more of his time on the top side of the map, especially in the last game, but in several instances, EDward Gaming top laner Chen "Mouse" Yuhao used the pressure to play overly aggressive, losing health needlessly. In some cases, even with Clearlove in the area, Mouse misjudged his positioning and fell drastically behind, or died solo to H2K’s Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu.

Teams that target mid lane have also been a sore point for EDG, as cutting mid lane advantages impedes Clearlove's ability to invade the enemy jungle. Jankos heavily targeted the mid lane in the first ten minutes of the three games, and Clearlove responded with counterganks 50 percent of the times it happened. Both Lee "Scout" Yechan and Heo "PawN" Wonseok buckled under pressure from Yoo "Ryu" Sangook, as they did against other mid lane opponents in the group, averaging -6 CS at 10 minutes and -4 CS at 10 minutes, respectively, across their group stage games.

Especially in the tiebreaker match, Clearlove moved to gank top with unimpressive results, while Jankos and Ryu had more success mid. Clearlove adjusted his pathing to respond to mid-lane gank pressure, and Mouse fell behind on his own. On Summoning Insight, Caster Aiden "Zirene" Moon suggested that part of the problem in Clearlove’s performances was being spread too thin with a struggling top laner, and it might even be better for him to revert to the bottom lane camp habit FORG1VEN accused him of committing to.

EDG have struggled with mid lane control all year, allegedly because of Scout's inexperience and PawN’s back injuries. Clearlove has taken partial responsibility. “Due to some injuries to PawN,” he said after the team’s spring LPL final loss to Royal Never Give Up, “the champions he's chosen are more team-oriented rather than assassin-oriented champions. So, in that sense, in the 2v2 lane and mid it causes some disadvantages for us, because we don't have a lot of proactive moves that we can make.” He added that EDG would improve as he did.

Following their five-game series against WE in the LPL Summer semifinals, Clearlove said WE’s mid and jungle duo was “better than ours.” He has played much less proactively without mid lane control — which made H2K’s dual-pronged strategy of targeting mid lane and limiting meiko’s ability to lay wards in the enemy jungle by banning mobile supports extremely effective.

If we really want to lay a damning criticism at Clearlove’s doorstep, it should concern his aversion to proactive plays without information. Even in games where he has a strong jungle matchup, he seems to rely on knowing the location of the enemy jungler before making a move. His inability to impact the top lane, even considering Mouse’s individual weaknesses, reflects a long career of awkward gank timings around top lane and an obvious preference for ganking for his AD carry.

That highlights the real difference between Clearlove and FORG1VEN. Clearlove has spent his career working to evolve from an underwhelming first several years of play. FORG1VEN rarely considers changing his playstyle, but his sheer skill has been enough to force others to adapt to him.

When Clearlove first joined WE, he wasn’t Coach Ji “Aaron” Xing’s first choice as a jungler. Aaron had been eyeing Liu “Lucky” Junjie, who eventually joined Royal Club Huang Zu instead. Clearlove’s work ethic and attentiveness to improvement got him the position, even though initially he seemed like the less talented player.

Clearlove has been described as the type of player who doesn’t just have an exemplary dedication to practice and self-improvement, but as someone who will push his teammates to do so as well, making him a valuable team core and captain. “I have to remember that no one is perfect,” Clearlove said in a fall 2015 interview. “You have to focus on your strengths because you will develop if you keep working, and sometimes you will fix your problems with dedication and time.”

Focusing on his strengths has been a common theme of Clearlove’s career, as he developed a focus on teamfighting first, followed by his attention to playing on the bottom side of the map. Eventually, he identified more ganking opportunities and became aggressive, but at times he’s predictable in his movements. Many teams in LPL could expect Clearlove to show up on the bottom side of the map, but he had a smart way of approaching it that at times forced them to make the first move while he waited for a countergank.

That doesn’t always work, and though Clearlove has adapted, the process has been slow. Before this year, Clearlove struggled to have an impact as Elise or Nidalee. In the post-game press conference after the 2016 LPL Summer final, he admitted that learning champions like Elise was part of the reason his solo queue ranking fell.

This sluggishness is also why Clearlove may never make it as far as he wants to at Worlds. Two years in a row, he’s been forced abruptly out of his comfort zone to play around the top side of the map. Last year, because the meta demanded it, and this year, because Mouse isn’t the same self-sufficient top laner Koro1 was — or will likely to be after he replaces Mouse in the quarterfinal.

Clearlove has definite habits. He’s demanding of his teammates and himself, and when he focuses on his strengths, he gets tunnel vision. When he’s forced to adapt too quickly, he doesn’t make it work.

By contrast, FORG1VEN doesn’t focus as much on adapting, and this has at times created conflict with himself and his teammates. Over the years, FORG1VEN has developed a distinct view of how the game should be played — not without reason — and he adamantly sticks to his convictions. He comes into each team as a known quantity.

“When we started playing with FORG1VEN [again],” Odoamne said before the World Championship, “even for these playoffs, we all knew what his tendencies are, so we all worked a lot more to try to go around that and not force him to do something he's not really willing to do.”

So far, H2K haven’t. They draft a strong matchup for FORG1VEN, and they set up an opportunity for him to lane in the 2v2, either by pulling jungle pressure elsewhere or relying on him to understand how to play his lane with more attention from the enemy jungler. FORG1VEN perhaps felt that Clearlove was always on the bottom side of the map in H2K’s game against EDward Gaming, because that’s part of his confidence.

FORG1VEN will frequently say that he’s facing a 2v3 (at least) in the bottom lane. This is only partly an illusion. He often does get focused by the enemy jungler, and he takes it in stride. In cases where he and Oskar "VandeR" Bogdan get the isolated 2v2, FORG1VEN might still say he’s 2v3, just because he knows he actually can 2v3.

That kind of confidence, and an unrelated willingness to place blame on his teammates instead of himself, actually says a lot about why FORG1VEN is successful, at least individually. He isn’t someone who doubts his own abilities, no matter how many times he's been shirked and shuffled to new teams, and with good reason — he’s intensely talented.

Clearlove believes that he can improve himself by dedicating more time to the game, but FORG1VEN sees only minimal benefit from a grueling individual practice schedule. He doesn't endlessly grind solo queue. He doesn't agonize over replays. He looks back on the times he has come back to LoL from an extended period with another game, and sees no apparent falloff. “All the effort you're going to put as an individual in terms of solo queue, in terms of mechanics, in terms of understanding the concept of the game, the meta, the picks — whatever — it's going to give you like 10 percent maximum, maybe a bit more, advantage,” he said following H2K's Group Stage run.

Clearlove is a talented player. His demonstrated skill in solo queue drew both deft and PawN to the team. FORG1VEN works hard when the situation calls for it, and he especially seems concerned with finding the right rhythm with his teammates, even while he remains committed to his personal convictions.

It's just that FORG1VEN's natural ceiling is higher.

In three games, H2K came out ahead. I can add caveats — I can point out the high blue-side win rate in group stage, especially concerning bottom-lane focused teams. I can point to the discrepancy in solo laners and the strength of H2K’s strategy. But that won't change that H2K was the better team on the second day of group stage, and FORG1VEN the better player.

It’s possible that no matter how many hours and how many years Clearlove practices, he’ll never get past the quarterfinal at the World Championship. He’ll hit the barrier of habit he’s created through repetition, unable to deviate from the core strengths he's trained.

“Clearlove,” ex-teammate Yu "Misaya" Jingxi said at the MidSeason Invitational in 2015, “to be able to progress the way he did, and be such a relevant jungler for all this time is mainly because of his persistence and because he put in a lot a lot of hard work first hand …

“I want to congratulate Clearlove on all his success and wish him the best of luck in … proving to the world that he is best in the world.”

A year and a half later, Clearlove still hasn’t proven himself the best in the world at the event he considers most important.

“…my goal is to win the World Championship,” Clearlove told Riot Games. “But if I really can’t get it, at the very least I fought and worked for it. As long as there’s no regrets, it’s okay.”

Someone like FORG1VEN is an obstacle Clearlove may never overcome. “No regrets” may have to cut it.

Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.

Best Skin Concepts: Lee Sin, the Blind Monk

by 15h ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of no crowns for kings / Tumblr

Skins of the Week is a weekly series that highlights the best skins and skin concepts for a heroes, champions and characters across a variety of games.

This week, we're focusing on League of Legends' greatest martial artist, Lee Sin, the Blind Monk. With a new skin set to debut soon, we're taking a look at the best skins and concepts for LoL's ubiquitous jungler.

God Fist Lee Sin

Lee Sin's moniker is "The Blind Monk," so it seems a bit silly to create a skin that is defined by Lee Sin being able to see normally. That said, for every Lee Sin player who has ever gotten tired of the constant jokes about being blind, God Fist Lee Skin is the skin for you.

Beyond the inclusion of sight, God Fist Lee Sin has a great silhouette, which seems more than slightly similar to Marvel's Iron Fist. Personally, I can't wait until Riot releases Super Ultimate God Level Tier Lee Sin, which will likely feature gigantic hair for no real reason.

Red Demon Lee Sin

by mist XG

Taking Lee Sin in a completely new direction, this 'Red Demon Lee Sin' by mist XG turns the peaceful, meditative monk into a fighter bent on destruction. The greaves and gauntlets are the highlights of this concept, showcasing just how deadly Lee Sin can be. Twisted and dangerous, Red Demon Lee Sin is a solid concept for a darker, evil version of the well-loved champion.

Traditional Lee Sin

by no crowns for kings

Outside of his default appearance, Lee Sin's skins gradually move further and further away from his moniker. But no so with this skin, which is inspired by traditional clothes worn by Chinese monks.

While the beads are a nice touch, it's the sashes that flow outward from his back that are the highlight of this concept. They could provide some great animations were this concept to become reality. This twist on Lee Sin's title is colorful, exciting, and makes me wish it was available for use.

Dragon Priest Lee Sin

by Beastysakura

Dragon Priest Lee Sin is certainly more beastly than what one would expect the monk to be. Much like Red Demon Lee Sin, this concept features greaves to emphasize his deadlier aspects, though the primary draw this time are the monstrous face and hands. While Lee Sin is normally fierce yet retains an air of peace, this Dragon Priest variant is more animalistic, more tortured, yet undoubtedly just as cool to imagine as his other skins.

Galactic Pilgrim Lee Sin

by narm

Lee Sin in space is just a great image in and of itself, but this skin concept takes the idea and runs with it to a strange yet awesome conclusion. Galactic Pilgrim Lee Sin has a lot going on for him, with the color scheme and shock gauntlets being at the forefront, but it remains recognizably Lee Sin as its core.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Febiven: 'I don't think having Koreans over the best European players is that much of a upgrade'

by 19h ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Flickr

While H2k-Gaming's bottom lane has quickly found its footing in the 2017 EU LCS Spring split, mid laner Fabian "Febiven" Diepstraten has been on other teams, like Fnatic's 2016 roster, which didn't get the same synergy from their import players.

When ex-teammate Martin "Rekkles" Larsson mentioned Febiven's positive attitude in a recent interview with theScore esports, we reached out to the mid laner for his own views on mindsets and team dynamics.

Read on for Febiven's opinion on integrating import players, how he feels about the potential of all-European rosters, and what he would tell every solo queue player.

With your time on Fnatic and now H2K, it feels like you’re uniquely positioned to talk about this: in your opinion what are the major factors that determine if Korean players will fit into a European squad? Obviously on Fnatic it didn’t seem to work out too well, but H2K’s bottom lane has done very well this season. What’s the difference between those two situations in your view?

I think it all comes down to how well the players mash together and what kind of mindset the players have towards the game and life in general. Everyone is different and has different mindsets towards the game or attitude towards improving and usually people stick to their comfort zone and don’t like changing that much which happened in FNC to all the players. But right now our bot lane has a really nice attitude towards everything and don't show bad emotions at all which is great for the atmosphere and they are always positive and looking to better the team.

Do you feel there’s any merit to the idea discussed recently in EU that European teams should just build all-European rosters and foster EU talent?

I feel like in Europe there are many good players and they can make a ‘’super team’’ together and I don't think having Koreans over the best European players is that much of a upgrade simply because having five Europeans works better than with two Koreans if they lack the language or they have complaints about stuff.

Rekkles had some kind words for you in a recent interview. Did you make a conscious attempt to be an inspiring part of Fnatic or did that just happen?

I think it is just the person who I am. I am basically smiling naturally most of the time and being happy and trying to cheer up the mood and trying to see things positively.

Was there a specific moment when you decided that you wanted to focus more on improving your competitive mindset, and how did you decide what to do?

I always thought just playing the game is the way to go but I realized that how you think about the game and how you act as a teammate and how you work towards becoming better is the way to go, obviously with spamming the game. So after the bad season with FNC last split, I decided that a change was needed in the way I think about life in general and tried to understand myself better so I could be a better person for the next upcoming years that I am a pro, and I feel like it was a good change.

Besides skill at their chosen role, what is the most important thing you look for in a teammate? Is there a point where that thing becomes more important than skill?

I think the most important thing that I value from my teammates is a positive attitude towards improving and towards everything in general. I believe that if you always look to solve things or always try to look for ways that you can get better, it will make you the player you want to be, and everyone wants to be the best but not many people know how to become the best. I just love seeing progress because it means that you’re growing (in a good way)

If you could tell one thing to every EU solo queue player, what would that be?

Never give up.

Is there a champion you wish you could play right now, but doesn’t fit the current meta?

Riven.

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.

Tainted Minds release statement on OPL contract dispute

by 1d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / Tainted Minds

Tainted Minds have spoken out on the ongoing contract dispute with their former OPL roster, stating that conditions in their team house, amongst other allegations, were not severe enough to allow the players to attempt to terminate their contracts.

On Feb. 13, Ryan "ShorterACE" Nget, Tristan "Cake" Côté-Lalumière, Aaron "ChuChuZ" Bland, Andrew "Rosey" Rose, the team's coach, Nick "Inero" Smith, and manager Fasffy left Tainted Minds' Strathfield team house after retaining a lawyer, Matt Jessep, who advised them to send notices of contract termination to the organization over a number of contract breaches.

RELATED: Former Tainted Minds coach alleges team was mistreated by org, players reportedly in contract dispute

Many of the players' complaints revolve around perceived inaction on the part of Tainted Minds in regards to addressing issues such as unstable internet and electricity in the house as well as the general sanitary situation. But, the organization's statement says that it was difficult to procure solutions because of a number of factors including difficulty getting in touch with contractors due to the Australian holiday season, a record-breaking heatwave and the fact that the house was a rental property.

"Tainted Minds acknowledges that issues arose with their gaming house but by the time of mediation with Riot on February 6, 2017, it appeared the majority of the issues had been resolved, although a few minor problems remained," the statement said. "These minor issues were subsequently resolved. Because of this, the notices of termination came as a complete surprise to Tainted Minds, especially after a win the day before."

However, according to a counter-statement from Fasffy, the issues had remained serious even after mediation.

"We still had no extra council [garbage] bins, power in the house was still tripping, we still had internet issues, we still didn’t have the pc’s we were promised," she wrote. "3 times random people showed up at the house, we didn’t know when they’d be coming and we'd lose practice. We didn't know when people would be coming. So most importantly.. we were still NOT ABLE TO PERFORM OUR JOBS OUTLINED IN OUR AGREEMENTS."

While Tainted Minds acquired four players to create a new OPL roster to fill in for the rest of the season (one player from the original team stayed on), the org refused to acknowledge that the rest of the original roster's contracts had been terminated and kept them signed on Riot Games' official contract database.

"Tainted Minds was advised by their legal counsel that the grounds disclosed for termination were not legally sufficient under the termination provisions in the team members' contracts and were therefore of no effect," the organization said in their statement. "Tainted Minds had invested a significant amount of money in the players and held them to their legal contracts. It was also believed that this would set a bad precedent for the industry if players could ignore contracts and walk from a team at any moment without following process."

While the original roster accused Tainted Minds of breaking Riot regulations by having a 13-player roster on the contract database and attempting to cover it up by changing the "date modified" field, according to a statement from Riot OCE, a temporary exception was made for Tainted Minds and the database failed to update properly.

RELATED: Riot OCE responds to Tainted Minds controversy

While Inero and ShorterACE have settled with Tainted Minds and ChuChuZ retired from competitive League, Rosey and Cake are still signed to the org on the contract database. On Mar. 22, Cake publicly released an extensive database of chat logs documenting conversations between Inero, Fasffy and Tainted Minds between November and February. This database was previously made available to the press, including theScore esports.

"I am only releasing this to cover my reputation and seek recovery for the damages they have caused me by restraining my ability to play for the rest of split 1, when my contract has been legally terminated," Cake wrote in a Twitlonger. "Tainted Minds declined arbitration offered by Riot NA a few weeks ago, but are suddenly interested in it, after a few of my friends have been released, and after I threatened to release the chat logs. If all those proofs are not enough to get Tainted Minds a competitive ruling from OPL, I will make sure to find more."

According to Tainted Minds' statement, while they attempted to negotiate a settlement with Cake, the 22-year-old Canadian refused and sought out damages for the time he was unable to play.

"The additional terms of the settlement were that neither party acknowledge fault and that both parties release a joint statement to express their regret in the situation and wish each other the best in their future endeavors. Tristan declined this to which his legal representative immediately emailed back to say Tristan would consider the offer," the statement said.

"March 17th Tristan then threatened to release confidential communications unless he was paid $10,000 USD. Even still TM reiterated the previous offer to him with one more chance to sign, which was declined."

According to Cake, while he did ask for $10,000 in damages in exchange for signing the settlement agreement, he only said he would release the chat logs after negotiations with Tainted Minds broke down.

"I asked for money to cover some of my damages and also for my reputation being hurt signing that deed with them after going public. It was the amount i was willing for my reputation to take a hit," he told theScore esports.

"In [one] email I mention chat logs going public, but that was after I publicly said that I would release stuff in 24 [hours]."

Tainted Minds' statement also leveled serious accusations against Fasffy, saying that many of the issues have arisen as a result of the quality of the contracts. According to Tainted Minds and the player's database, Fasffy brought forward a personal friend whom she appeared to present as a "practicing lawyer" in the players' chat logs. She allegedly said her friend could draw up contracts for free on the condition that the contracts not be re-used outside of the agreed upon players and personnel.

However, Tainted Minds said that after confronting Fasffy about contacting the captain of their recently-acquired CS:GO squad about the terms of their contracts, Fasffy then requested they pay her friend a fee because they broke his terms and used his contracts outside of their intended purpose. The incident appears to arise in chat logs from both from Tainted Minds and the players' database.

Though Tainted Minds say Fasffy would not initially share the friend's full name or contact information, relaying their negotiations through herself, their own lawyer discovered Fasffy's friend was not a fully-licensed lawyer.

"It was discovered that the individual was not a certified, practicing lawyer but 'someone that works at [redacted] Legal,'" the statement said. "However, we emphasise that the person represented as a lawyer, never made that statement themselves and it was only ever Fasffy who referred to them as a 'lawyer.'"

While Tainted Minds were previously accused of missing payments, they said in their statement that they held back payments from players who had not properly filled out tax documents.

"Player payments provided by Riot were paid immediately to players who provided compliant tax details to Tainted Minds. 49% was withheld from players who had not, as required by law and the Australian Tax Office (ATO)," the statement said. "Under the agreement, TM has the right to make such deductions to meet its legal requirements. These player payments have since been made in full upon request from Riot. All other relevant player monthly / OPL match payments / valid invoices were paid on time and in full and complied with Riot payment schedules"

Cake confirmed in a counter-statement that he has since been paid the sums he previously said he was not paid.

While Fasffy has also accused the organization of failing to remunerate her after working hefty amounts of overtime and also paying household expenses out of pocket, the statement says there was "considerable doubt over the billable hours claimed, these include 24 hour days which under no circumstance would be requested by management for health and safety reasons and general welfare of the individual."

Tainted Minds said that while they did review her contract with the intent of drafting a new agreement that better reflected her responsibilities, she and the players left before that process was completed.

"Even in mediation you would not pay me for the previously agreed upon necessary overtime worked unless I’d signed a new contract," Fasffy wrote in a counter-statement. "I did not refuse to accept a new contract, I simply stated that I was not comfortable going into new contract negotiations until the outstanding and and old issues were resolved and that it looked like you had no intention of paying my ... December overtime so it looked like we were not going to be able to move forward from this."

On March 16, Riot Games announced that they would be investigating the Tainted Minds situation alongside Riot OCE. The results of the investigation should be released later this week.

Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Best Rumble builds

by 1d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games

Rumble's builds as an AP carry are pretty varied beyond his core of early magic penetration. As such, he has some unique build paths based on the enemy composition and how he chooses to deal damage or deal with the mix of damage presented by the enemy team. Because of Rumble's early health through Liandry's, runes and masteries, resists are particularly potent in making the firestarter as durable as he is damaging.

RELATED: A guide to Rumble

The Classic

  1. Doran’s Shield + Health Potion

  2. Haunting Guise

  3. Sorcerer Shoes

  4. Liandry’s Torment

  5. Zhonya’s Hourglass

  6. Void Staff

  7. Rabadon’s Deathcap

  8. Guardian Angel

Against Heavy AP

  1. Doran’s Shield + Health Potion

  2. Haunting Guise

  3. Sorcerer Shoes

  4. Negatron Cloak

  5. Liandry’s Torment

  6. Abyssal Scepter

  7. Zhonya’s Hourglass

  8. Void Staff

  9. Guardian Angel

RELATED: 8 quick tips for Rumble

Against heavy AD
  1. Doran’s Shield + Health Potion

  2. Haunting Guise

  3. Sorcerer Shoes

  4. Liandry’s Torment

  5. Zhonya’s Hourglass

  6. Void Staff

  7. Rabadon's Deathcap

  8. Guardian Angel

Against majority squishies
  1. Doran’s Shield + Health Potion

  2. Haunting Guise

  3. Sorcerer Shoes

  4. Liandry’s Torment

  5. Zhonya’s Hourglass

  6. Void Staff

  7. Rabadon's Deathcap

  8. Guardian Angel

Against majority tanks
  1. Doran’s Shield + Health Potion

  2. Haunting Guise

  3. Sorcerer Shoes

  4. Liandry’s Torment

  5. Zhonya’s Hourglass

  6. Void Staff

  7. Rylai's Crystal Scepter

  8. Rabadon's Deathcap if ahead, or Luden's Echo if even or behind

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.

8 quick tips for Rumble

by 1d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games

Rumble is one of the more difficult champions to play to perfection. The tiny Yordle's mechanic are full of tricks and surprises, which often can turn your small leg up into a giant robot leg up instead. These tips and tricks focus around ease and usability mostly, to make your time with Rumble more focused on what to do with your advantages rather than how you secure them.

RELATED: A guide to Rumble

  1. Use Electro-Harpoon to keep your heat up at yellow stages so that you can continue using amplified spells

  2. Harass enemies from afar with Flamespitter by using your stop key (Default S) to stand outside of turret aggro range or further away from them

  3. Do not smartcast your equalizer when starting to play Rumble — it is very difficult to land consistently good ones and sometimes you will have some incredibly bad results

  4. If you do want to smartcast your ultimate, hold down your ultimate key to see the trajectory and right-click if you want to cancel the input

  5. Flamespitter does damage every 0.25 seconds, so you should be able to pivot Rumble quickly to do damage to things you want to do damage to, such as using Q to last hit a minion quickly and turning away

  6. No form of crowd control stops Flamespitter

  7. Build up heat before minions spawn so that you have access to the enhanced version of your Flamespitter once you enter the lane, giving you greater lane bully potential

  8. If you overheat casting Electro-Harpoon, you can continue casting other Electro-Harpoons for the duration of the Overheat passive

RELATED: Best Rumble builds

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.

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