The League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) steering committee consisting of Riot Games’ South Korean and Chinese branches, as well as the Korea Esports Association (KeSPA), has issued disciplinary action against former Griffin director Cho Gyu-nam and former head coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho following an investigation.
The investigation was announced in October following allegations made by Kim regarding the mishandling of a player transfer involving Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok. The former head coach alleged that Cho threatened Kanavi and pressured him to sign a five-year contract with JD Gaming that would result in a ₩1 billion ($848,252 USD) buyout paid to Griffin, per ESPN.
A competitive ruling released on the Riot Games Korea website ruled that “Director Cho” made Kanavi, a minor, unfairly pressured the player to sign the contract. The ruling states that Cho should have encouraged the organization to follow regulations and regulations and not participate in influencing the player to accept JD Gaming’s proposal.
An indefinite suspension has been handed to Cho following this investigation. The former director will be unable to participate in any way in esports organized and hosted by Riot Games, including LCK.
Furthermore, the findings show that Cho’s actions are subject to criminal law and would preferably be handled by judicial authorities in an attempt to determine whether they are “threatening crimes” or “forced crimes.”
Disciplinary action extends to former head coach Kim, as well, after reports from former players revealed that he exercised verbal and violent abuse against players. The steering committee confirmed these reports by reviewing statements from involved parties and witnesses. The findings show that the abuse was particularly damaging to the wellbeing of players, some of which were minors. Again, the seriousness of these findings is reflected in the competitive ruling, which reads “such verbal and violent acts may be contrary to ethical conduct that is prohibited or at least generally accepted by Korean law.”
Kim will receive an indefinite suspension and will not be able to participate in any way in esports hosted or organized by Riot Games, including LCK.
Riot Korea’s investigation also found that Griffin was directly involved or had overlooked the actions of Cho and Kim. As a result, the team has been fined 100 million won (approx. $85,000 USD). The steering committee is now committed to reviewing Griffin’s overall team operations and management over the 12 months and will apply further penalties if similar violations are discovered.
The disciplinary actions served by Riot Korea conclude what has been a remarkable week for mishandling and misconduct in League of Legends competitions played around the world. Earlier this week it was determined that Cloud9 would be fined $175,000 for severe equity rule violations.
Jake founded Level Push in 2019 and is committed to covering all aspects of gaming. He started playing competitive League of Legends and Call of Duty in 2010. As an economics graduate, Jake is uniquely positioned to provide business and industry insights.