According to the announcement from Riot, Tandra did not pay his players in accordance with the team’s agreement, whether paid late or not in the total amount that was stated in player’s contracts, which is in breach of the international policy of League of Legends Esports. Tandra will not be allowed to be present with the team in any role until 2022.
Riot’s statement included the following:
“Maintaining a good ecosystem and environment for professional players is the most important thing for team owners and the teams that manage the league. Tandra doesn’t take these principles into account and must be revoked the right to participate in the League of Legends competition leagues around the world in all positions and roles … He will be eligible to participate in the competition again in the year 2022 after formal consideration.”
MEGA Esports is thought to be one of the main teams in the LST region after the team walked out of the 2019 Spring Split of the League SEA Tour as champions before being eliminated during the play-in stage of the Worlds Championship. Beginning in 2020, the LST will be joining the LMS to form one league comprising of ten teams. The move to consolidate the leagues comes after Riot Games evaluated the region and decided to prioritize the fan experience in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Southeast Asian regions.
Considering recent reports that led to Team Griffin’s parent company to dissolve all of its players’ contracts, as well as a recent study that esports athletes are under the same amount of stress as professional athletes, it’s become clear that esports players are rather neglected, both in terms of finances and their health and safety. While the decision by Riot is the correct one, it begs to question if other esports players have faced similar issues regarding pay. The move by Riot is commendable, but the gaming community can only hope other organizations step up to the plate and protect its players in the same fashion.