REN Manager: Renegades was investigated for trade before ban

A member of the Renegades’ staff said Monday the team was initially investigated when making a trade with Team Dragon Knights, but he was told everything was fine.

Renegades was banned from the League of Legends Championship Series late Sunday night, its owners Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and Chris “Doombang” Badawi given until next week to sell the team’s LCS spot.

Riot Games announced the ban (which included a ban for TDK and, in a separate ruling, a ban for Team Impulse) in a move that shook the North American League of Legends community.

Matt Akhavan, manager for the Renegades, said the team was initially investigated when completing a trade with TDK in March. The move sent Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong and Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo to Renegades for Cuong “Flaresz” Ta and Alexey “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin. After the trade, Renegades, then in last place, surged to eighth and won its match in the spring promotion tournament to hold its LCS slot. TDK, meanwhile, finished just short of qualifying for the LCS, losing to Team Apex in the final match.

“There was an investigation when the trade was made, however I was under the impression Riot deemed that we were not breaking any rules based on what was communicated to me by Riot,” Akhavan said Monday. “Last night’s ruling was unexpected, however we heard rumors.”

A request for comment was not returned by Riot in time for publication

Riot deemed the relationship with TDK inappropriate because “League officials received evidence that indicated that some of the players were compensated and/or housed by their former teams even after the trade was completed, including payments for the month following the trade,” according to the statement.

But that was only one of the reasons Renegades was banned. Badawi, already serving a one-year suspension for tampering, was banned from ever associating with a team in a Riot-run league again because Mykles — given a one-year ban from owning or associating with a team — allegedly promised Badawi a 50 percent stake in the team after the end of his suspension, which is apparently against Riot’s rules.

Riot’s ruling also cited concerns about player welfare, including “confrontations between management and players, refusal to honor payment and contract provisions, and failure to maintain a safe environment for all team members.”

Akhavan declined to comment about Badawi’s involvement with the team and player welfare, aside from saying “the only thing i feel comfortable saying is that our players were never in any danger.”