The Valorant squad had come to dominate the LATAM North scene, and most recently won the Stage 1 Masters. They looked destined for great things, but a day before the qualifiers for Stage 2 were set to begin it, all fell apart when it emerged that José “Ezio” Pérez had failed to pay staff, players, and suppliers.
This is the rise and fall of LDM.
LDM, its beginnings and rise to the top
LDM Esports, formerly known as Liga del Mal, is a Chilean team that emerged at the end of 2019, founded by Misrain "MisrraVB" Valencia, a popular LATAM streamer.
The beginnings of the team were quite curious since although its initial results within the Entel Honor League, Chile's national league, were not the most promising, the team had one of the largest followings in the game's community, a fact that was reflected in the audience numbers when they played.
Thanks to this, in addition to the better results in their national league and a subsequent rebrand, in 2020 the team decided to undertake a journey beyond the borders of Chile establishing offices and a second League of Legends team in Mexico. They would also ally with two content creators in José “Ezio” Pérez and Luis “Creador150” Cisneros.
With the arrival of the squad to Mexico, big hirings were announced for its LoL division for the start of the Division of Honor Telcel, the national league of that country, in addition to the creation of a team dedicated to Riot Games’ shooter, Valorant.
Things were moving fast for LDM, and 2021 presented more opportunities for success with the recently announced Valorant Champions Tour giving their fledgeling roster a chance at international success.
As the months passed, the results began to show. The LoL division in Chile managed to qualify for the Playoffs, and just two days ago the Mexican team were crowned champion of the Division of Honor, after a tight 3-2 series against Team Aze.
The biggest achievement would come from the side of their Valorant team, which exceeded expectations and managed to conquer the first Valorant Masters of Latin America North, positioning them as one to watch not just in the region, but the world.
(Picture: Riot Games)
However, all these achievements concealed a darker side, but and one which ended up destroying the hopes and the legacy that LDM could have had in Latin American esports.
The fall of LDM Esports
On the night of 5th April, a statement was released through LDM Esports' social networks where the voluntary resignation of Ezio and Creador150 was announced, leaving MisrraVB, its founder, in charge of the team.
Rumours began to emerge as to whether this was due to problems with the Valorant roster as it was preparing for Stage 2 of the Valorant Champions Tour, or if it was something more insidious going on. There was radio silence from all involved in the hours after the statement.
Then on 6th April, another new statement emerged where the dissolution of the Valorant team was announced, mere hours before the team were to face off against Infinity Esports in the opening qualifier for Valorant Stage 2 Challengers 1. The team would ultimately forfeit that match.
This was followed by the announcement of the dissolution of the League roster, almost a year and a half since its inception.
With all the players and staff of both teams now free agents, rumours intensified and fingers began being pointed at Ezio as the source of the troubles.
Confirmation of those rumours would come shortly after, when MisrraVB, through an official statement on the team's YouTube channel, revealed that Ezio had been defrauding the organisation for months.
“In short, Ezio is a scammer. He went on to sign contracts with players using false documentation. He said that he paid for everything in the Mexican teams, but what happens is that since the players were in a gaming house, they did not demand the payment of the month, he simply paid them when the players required it."
"This was creating a debt snowball, which eventually just exploded. I was not informed of the seriousness of the debts, since when capital was required for certain things, Ezio grabbed and threw his wallet, and this happened constantly, covering the true magnitude of the debts."
"Everyone Ezio owed money to, went to collect at once. Teams, sponsors, family. Ezio of course was aware of the issue, and consequently ran away. We contacted him multiple times without response, until the point where he completely disappeared.”
And it appears Ezio's misdeeds extended to the team of streamers he ran, known as Animus Team, who through their socials released a statement claiming that trouble was afoot in that organisation. That statement was subsequently deleted before a follow up was released claiming the organisation was disbanding.
“LDM. Us, or at least I promise to pay as much as I can regarding the teams, the players, because even though the whole project ends here, I will continue to pay as much as I can, and just that. The problems of the North have been so great that it could not be," concluded MisrraVB.
The team has left a final message on Twitter, thanking all their fans for their support during this time.
Thus, one of the most promising teams in Latin America, both in terms of results and followers, maybe marking its final hours.
This was the fast rise and faster fall of LDM Esports.