Riot hands down team bans in League of Legends, and one lifetime ban

One team owner gets banned from League of Legends for life -- and three teams have to deal with massive changes, including temporary management bans and change of ownership.

Riot is getting serious about regulating League of Legends teams, if a pair of rulings resulting in supsensions and one permanent ban are any indication. 

In two separate rulings, the company has taken action against three different teams and a number of team owners, and it's going to shake up the competitive landscape for League of Legends.

The company rules that Team Impulse has not entered into formal contracts with its players, which violates its official team rules; reading its ruling, you can also see that there are serious questions about whether players have been paid what they're owed (complicated by the fact that the team did not offer written contracts).

Team Impulse has been fined $20,000 and the team's management has 10 days to sell it off -- in Riot's view, this move will offer continuity and contracts to the players (in contrast to simply dissolving the team).

The bigger news is the ruling against two teams: Renegades and TDK, and their management. Why two together? They have been found by the company to have commingled their player pool, colluded in trades, and to have hid their relationshop from Riot.

Worse still, Riot contends that Renegades owner Christopher Mykles had promised a suspended team owner, Chris Badawi, a 50 percent stake in the team after the conclusion of his suspension. That's against the rules -- no suspended owner can have any dealings in team ownership, period, according to Riot -- and Badawi has been hit with a lifetime ban from League of Legends. Mykles, meanwhile, is banned for a year.

At the same time, the owners of team TDK, Chris and Sean Shim, are banned indefinitely; that ban can be reviewed starting in January 2019.

There are also somewhat troubling but unspecified allegations of "player welfare concerns"  involving, in part, "failure to maintain a safe environment for all team members" around Renegades, "primarily around Badawi’s conduct while serving in a non-ownership capacity during his suspension term," according to Riot.

Riot finds that the teams deliberately misled the company regarding any and all of these allegations. Both TDK and Renegades management are being forced to sell up their teams, too -- if they want to keep competing in League of Legends, anyway. 

Mykles -- who also works as a game analyst and broadcaster, over which Riot has no purview and cannot enact a ban -- responded briefly to the decision on Twitter, saying "I was never presented evidence by Riot for these claims, nor did I know most of them existed," and alleging he had only 30 minutes prior to the announcement of the bans to respond to Riot's ruling. For his part, Badawi hasn't so far tweeted about the ruling. 

You can read the full text of Riot's rulings against TDK and Renegades and Team Impulse if you want to know more.

Riot had earlier this year standardized its penalties for rule-breaking in professional League of Legends -- a topic also worth visiting

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