On Aug. 14, Riot Games announced it would fine Team SoloMid owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh $2,000 for publicly announcing the team's new support player, Jang-sik 'Lustboy' Ham, before the required registration paperwork had cleared. Riot claimed it had reminded Dinh of this requirement two days prior to the announcement, and had issued the fine based on his alleged failure to comply with these direct instructions.
Dinh has publicly denied that this reminder ever took place and says that, therefore, the fine isn’t fair. Dinh had publicly requested that Riot produce some form of evidence to substantiate its claims, and even promised to match the $2,000 fine with a donation to charity if proved wrong. So far, Riot has declined to comment further on its ruling, something that has left TSM, and in particular Dinh, feeling disgruntled.
Sources close to TSM feel Riot deliberately misinterpreted the rule used to issue the penalty. Section 10.2.14 of the official LCS ruleset, the one Riot cited in this instance, states: “No Team Member may refuse or fail to apply the instructions or decisions of LCS officials.”
But our source, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of fines or other retribution, said the rule was not intended as a broad tool for punishment.
As far as most players are aware the ‘not listening to LCS officials’ rule is entirely meant for during competitions.For example, if you’re on stage and an LCS official tells you to take off your hat or stop cussing during games. That is what the rule is for, not situations like this.”
Despite Dinh protesting his innocence, and Riot not producing any evidence either publicly or privately, he will have no say in whether or not he pays the fine, sources say. Rather, the fine will be removed directly from the block payment that Riot pay to the team whether Dinh wants to contest the charges or not.
“Riot aren’t going to be able to produce any logs because the reminder never happened," the source said. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, Riot do good with their disciplinary work. But this decision seems mean-spirited. While Reginald still wants to see some proof of what they are alleging, it is most likely he won’t even have a say over whether or not he pays the fine. Riot can just take the fine from the stipend that they pay the team.”
This matter could also raise questions about the way Riot handles its fines process. While most sporting leagues have an appeals panel for disciplinary matters, our source told us that TSM’s Dinh would just have to accept the punishment with no recourse as “there isn’t an appeals process in place for fines like this in LCS.”
Riot declined to comment on this story.
Photo via Leaguepedia