South Korean politician criticizes Riot Korea’s Kanavi investigation

Ha Tae-keung

South Korean politician Ha Tae-kyung has criticized the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) steering committee after an investigation that resulted in disciplinary action against former Griffin director Cho Gyu-nam and former head coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho.

Today, Riot Korea published a competitive ruling following an investigation that was conducted by members of the LCK steering committee, including Riot Games’ South Korean and Chinese branches and the Korea Esports Association (KeSPA).

The investigation commenced in October after Kim, former head coach for Griffin, revealed information regarding the potential mishandling of Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok’s transfer to JD Gaming. Kim alleged that Kanavi, a minor, was unfairly pressured into signing a contract with JD Gaming that would eventually result in a ₩1 billion ($848,252 USD) buyout paid to Griffin.

The ruling served indefinite suspensions for Cho and Kim, but for very different reasons.

Cho was found guilty of unfairly influencing the minor to sign the contract with JD Gaming and is now banned from all Riot Games esports competitions and events indefinitely. The ruling shows 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.”

Kim, the whistleblower, was hit with an indefinite suspension for verbal and physical abuse to players. The competitive ruling states that Kim’s abuse was personally damaging to the players, some who were minors.

But Ha Tae-kyung believes that the disciplinary action taken against Kim is merely an act of revenge against a whistleblower. The representative also revealed that Riot Games could be facing punishment under the “Whistleblower Protection Bill,” that disallows organizations from punishing whistleblowers.

Following the announcement of the competitive ruling, senator Ha released a statement (via Reddit user “classs3”):

“Riot just announced their final statement on Griffin situation. It is abhorring. Not only is Cho, but cVmax who revealed the corruption is also getting indefinitely suspended. This clearly is a revenge toward the whistleblower. Riot can be punished for this under the “Whistleblower Protection Bill” and can receive up to 3 years of jail time.

“If it wasn’t for cVmax’s courageous act, Kanavi’s slavery contract would have gone unnoticed. cVmax is someone who should be protected and praised, not punished.

“If someone who reveals justice and truth are punished, who in our society will ever do so? Riot’s decision to punish cVmax is an act that tramples justice in our society. They will receive judgment from the people and law.”

In many ways, Riot Korea’s competitive ruling should have been the final stage of this investigation but with the possibility of judicial involvement, it seems the Griffin scandal is far from over.

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