Luminosity Gaming's CS:GO team, coach and manager have reportedly signed contracts with SK Gaming despite previous letters of intent signed with Luminosity for a two-year period, which came into effect in December, ESPN's Jacob Wolf reports, sparking conflict between the organizations.
Wolf reports that Luminosity's players are now looking to back out of the contracts they signed with SK in order to remain with LG, and that as a result, SK has threatened legal action. The contracts come into effect on July 1. Concurrently, the team has letters of intent with Luminosity which expire in December 2017, after a two-year term.
According to ESPN, the Luminosity roster signed contracts with SK after SK's managing director Alex Müller offered the players $9,000 monthly allowances for the team house, a choice of where to live for practice and flights home to Brazil. In addition, he promised the players legal assistance, legal counsel and additional compensation.
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo told ESPN that SK was pushing the team to sign a contract with them despite their reservations.
Luminosity's CEO Steve Maida told ESPN that Müller "...continued to proposition, bribe, manipulate, and con my players, of whom only a few speak English and did so with no legal representation. He never once informed me that he was doing this behind my back or even speaking to my players.
"He manipulated my players into thinking LG was the devil, and coached them on how to break their contracts with false information and lies, all the while telling them he would protect them if LG took legal action, by paying for any legal fees."
WESA's interim league commissoner, Pietro Fringuelli initially represented SK but removed himself because of a conflict-of-interest, Wolf reported. Konstantin Ewald is SK's new representative. Ryan Morrison, a video game attorney, is representing the players in the dispute. Bryce Blum, is Luminosity's current representative.
ELEAGUE told ESPN that team owners have the option of filing a formal complaint in situations "deemed damaging to ELEAGUE."
"Matters of discipline against teams or player are handled at the sole discretion of the ELEAGUE commissioner."
ELEAGUE's officials rules do not cover specifics regarding poaching attempts (something explicitly prohibited by Riot Games in their official League of Legends leagues), but note that, "tournament officials may issue a foul, technical foul, or disqualify a player/team for acts of misconduct not listed in the conduct rules to preserve fair play and sportsmanship in the Commissioner’s sole discretion."
ELEAGUE's Commissioner, Min-Sik Ko is a previous employee of SK Gaming according to both LinkedIn and Duncan "Thorin" Shields.
Wolf says that ELEAGUE is aware of the situation but that no formal complaint has been made to officials.
As it stands, Luminosity will still play in their scheduled match against Cloud9 at 10 p.m. EDT.
Will Alcopra is news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.