Phoenix1 has a 4-4 record heading into Week 5. Cloud9, meanwhile, is undefeated with an 8-0 record. Their starting jungler, Juan "Contractz" Arturo Garcia, was a member of the Cloud9 Challenger roster whose LCS spot — and four other player contracts — were sold to FlyQuest.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games/lolesports / 2016 World Championship / Riot Games
William "Meteos" Hartman was "traded from C9 to P1 and is now an active member of P1's starting roster," a representative for Riot Games told theScore esports.
On Thursday, Phoenix1's announced that Meteos "has graciously agreed to sub in for our team on extremely short notice" and will replace starting jungler Rami "Inori" Charagh in the team's Week 5 matches against Cloud9 and Team EnVyUs. The organization said that Inori needed to return home "to take care of a personal matter."
Riot Games esports media relations lead Alex Rubens confirmed to theScore esports in an email that Meteos had been acquired by P1 in exchange for cash, stating that "they purchased/acquired the contract from C9." Section 220.127.116.11 of Riot's 2017 NA LCS rules states that "Players may be traded from one team to another in exchange for a payment of cash or other consideration, so long as such transaction does not violate any other Rule(s)."
It's possible that Meteos could be moved to a substitute position after Inori returns. What cannot happen, as per section 4.1.6 of Riot's 2017 NA LCS rules, is a return to Cloud9 for three weeks:
Any player who leaves or is removed from an LCS Roster (for any reason) may not re-join that LCS Roster as a result of a later trade, free agent signing, or any other type of transaction until a minimum of at least three game (3) weeks has elapsed following the effective date of the transaction that resulted in their most recent removal from the Active Roster unless granted a hardship exemption at league discretion. A game week is defined as a week in which LCS matches are being played.
With P1 set to battle C9 in one of their two Week 5 matches, it was unclear if a loaned player could indeed play against their current roster. But with a trade now confirmed by Riot, the members of Cloud9 constitute former teammates to Meteos instead.
The top two teams in Europe will be present at the IEM Season XI World Championship in Katowice, with G2 Esports replacing current NA LCS Spring Split frontrunners Cloud9.
G2 is the top team in 2017 EU LCS Spring Split's Group A, while the top team in Group B, Unicorns of Love, will also be attending the tournament. This also means that the NA LCS has no presence at IEM Katowice's League of Legends tournament. Instead, three EU LCS teams, two LCK teams, one LPL, team, one LMS team and one CIS team will be participating in the $150,000 event.
Cloud9 originally backed out of the international tournament citing visa concerns as well as a focus on keeping up their domestic play. Teams that were asked to replace them had declined to attend due to their own commitment to their domestic leagues.
As a result of all of this, the following teams will be attending IEM Katowice
Unicorns of Love
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.
Former Tainted Minds coach alleges team was mistreated by org, players reportedly in contract dispute
Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / Tainted Minds
Former Tainted Minds coach Nick "Inero" Smith has alleged that the organization severely mistreated some of its League of Legends players, telling PVP Live's James "Obscurica" Chen that it attempted to bar them from leaving the org.
According to Inero, the team house was often without power over a period of two months. Other complaints included bad computers that crashed too often to play on, a lack of air conditioning and mold growth in the house.
Inero told PVP Live that the team missed two weeks of scrims because of the computer issues. The team then allegedly contacted a lawyer to legally terminate their contacts, before reportedly being told by Tainted Minds on Feb. 17 that they were still under contract to the org.
A representative for Jessep Entertainment and Sports Lawyers confirmed for theScore esports that the firm is representing a group of players in a contract dispute against Tainted Minds, but was unable to provide further clarification on the specific players involved and the nature of the dispute.
Inero told PVP Live the players' lawyer has told them that their contracts are legally terminated, and that they are "are not bound to represent Tainted Minds any further." However, all players who have played for Tainted Minds this split are still listed as being signed to Tainted Minds on Riot's Global Contract Database.
While PVP Live's report does not specify which players are in the dispute with Tainted Minds, Ryan "ShorterACE" Nget, Aaron "ChuChuZ" Bland, Tristan "Cake" Côté-Lalumière and Andrew "Rosey" Rose did not play in any of Tainted Minds 2017 OPL Split 1 Week 5 games.
Inero told PVP Live that on Feb. 18, Tainted Minds had 13 players signed to the org on the database, despite Riot's official rules stating that teams can only have 10 players signed to the roster.
Inero also claims that after the players' lawyer contacted Riot Oceania's head of esports with regards to Tainted Minds' alleged breaches of contract, Riot updated the Global Contract Database to put Tainted Minds in the right.
The database currently only lists 10 players on Tainted Minds, and states it was last updated on Feb 19th. Inero told PVP Live that this is a sign that Riot is covering up for Tainted Minds, as he claims to have a screenshot of the database from Feb. 20 that says it was last updated on Feb. 16.
Tainted Minds has yet to make a public statement on the matter.