In an interview after the EU LCS Finals between G2 Esports and Splyce on Sunday, G2 co-owner Carlos "Ocelote" Rodriguez said he does not believe the loan that fellow co-owner and ESL board member Jens Hilgers gave to Fnatic in July constitutes a conflict of interest.
"[Hilgers has] been super transparent with me in regards to his loan to Fnatic," Ocelote said. "And that's been no problem whatsoever, because there's no reason to believe that that kind of puts G2 and Fnatic together in any kind of way. It makes no sense."
Last week, independent journalist Richard Lewis released a YouTube video alleging that a company owned by Hilgers made a loan to Fnatic, which Lewis claimed was a clear conflict of interest. The amount of money loaned to Fnatic has been redacted from the documents that Lewis obtained.
Hilgers has yet to release a statement, though he did tweet that he is working with Riot Games to address concerns about financial ties between the two teams.
Ocelote acknowledged that the loan took place, and said he and Hilgers discussed it beforehand. He said that Hilgers, who he sees as his mentor, is close friends with Fnatic owner and chairman Sam Matthews. When Hilgers initially discussed his plans to make the loan, Ocelote didn't see it as an issue.
"I simply saw no conflict of interest there," he said. "Trying to look for a conflict of interest is looking for drama, straight-up. There's nothing wrong there. ... I mean, you have to see. When I sell players to Fnatic, I scratch. No, it's not a scratch... I take their balls and twist them like this. Ten times."
He said that despite Hilgers' friendship with Matthews, G2 treat Fnatic as a competitor. "esports is a game and I want to wreck everyone," he said. "Why would I want to have ties with my direct and biggest competitor? It makes no sense."
Within the past year, G2 has sold two players to Fnatic: League of Legends player Mateusz "Kikis" Szkudlarek in July and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Dennis "dennis" Edman in November of 2015.
Ocelote said the situation has little in common with the alleged collusion between Team Dragon Knights and Team Renegades earlier this year, both of whom were banned from Riot-sanctioned leagues. He said G2 is fully cooperating with Riot's investigation.
"I think comparing what happened with Renegades and what's happening with Jens and Fnatic — not G2, it's Jens and Fnatic — it's not comparable I think," Ocelote said. "I lack context in regards to Renegades' situation, I don't know exactly what happened ... but I what I can tell you for sure that it's nowhere close. It's not comparable."
Fnatic has yet to comment on the issue.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Kikis joined Fnatic on July 21, which was the date that Fnatic subsidiary SANNPA filed its registration of charge, according to Richard Lewis. However, Kikis was signed to Fnatic on July 12. theScore esports regrets the error.
Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.