Update 21st March: According to esports reporter Richard Lewis via Dexerto, sources confirmed that Zhang was fired for alleged "financial irregularities." Accordingly, Zhang had an agent-style setup, where he would earn royalties for securing spots for Chinese and Taiwanese players on the team.
Original story continues:
American esports organisation Team SoloMid (officially, TSM FTX) recently dismissed their now-former League of Legends Head of Player Development, Peter Zhang. The shock announcement came towards the end of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Spring Split and marks a dismal end to Zhang's four-year relationship with the organisation.
TSM fire LCS coach Peter Zhang
In an official statement posted via the TSM FTX Twitter account on 19th March, the esports organisation wrote, "We were recently made aware of very serious allegations of conflict of interest and unethical practices against League of Legends coach Peter Zhang."
March 18, 2022
The statement continued, "After an initial investigation, we have terminated him effective immediately," adding, "We are working with external legal counsel to complete a full investigation."
While TSM FTX failed to divulge the precise reasoning behind Zhang's dismissal, LCS Commissioner Jackie Felling assured fans per a Reddit post that Zhang's firing had "nothing to do with matchfixing."
"This is an internal team matter. [I'm] not making a statement from Riot at all, but I don't want people to think this had anything remotely to do with match-fixing or betting, which it does not," Felling said.
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The 28-year-old first joined TSM FTX in November 2018 and is considered a seasoned veteran in the League of Legends community. Zhang expressed his regret on TSM's official Discord server shortly after his dismissal, writing, "I did some mistake," and thanked fans for their support.
Zhang also insisted that fans continued to support TSM and indicated that he would release a statement regarding his "situation" at a later date. "I guess it's bigger enough I got immediate released," he added.
In a separate post on Twitter, Felling wrote, "While this is extremely disappointing and it's easy to kick an org while they are down, last week I met with the TSM folks @KallasDominic @TSMWalter, and they are dedicated to turning the team around. Please support the players and staff as best you can in this difficult time."
We will endeavour to provide any further updates regarding this developing story.
Featured image courtesy of TSM FTX and Riot Games.