Unfortunately for Brandon “Mash” Phan, the position was a familiar one.
Team Impulse has been forced to sell its North American League of Legends Championship Series slot by next week, according to a Riot Games ruling that cited, among other alleged violations, the team’s owners’ repeated failures to pay players and staff on time — if at all.
“For the players, we did get paid for only two months,” Mash told Slingshot. “We are missing the other two months. A quarter way into the split, I was concerned about our money. That is when I contacted Riot about it and we got it the week after.
“Our subs and coach are the ones that haven’t received anything. After that first instance, I was in close contact with Riot.”
Requests to Team Impulse for comment were not returned. Mash said he’d been in a position like this before with Good Game University — which became Team Coast — in 2013, but did not go into further detail.
Mash also made it seem possible the players might be able to recuperate their lost funds but was vague in doing so.
“There has been a lot of good news so far about the money,” Mash said, declining to go into specifics besides adding “Riot is doing their best to get our owed money.”
Riot Games declined comment.
Mash joined the organization in January from Team Coast, which had qualified for the LCS through the North American Challenger Series but sold its spot to NRG.
“It was definitely not a secret (that TiP wanted to sell its slot),” Mash said. “The main reason I joined TiP was to be in the LCS. After qualifying with Coast last year, I didn’t want to play another split of Challenger. The biggest worry for me was getting relegated.”
Impulse entered the season with low expectations but had a surprisingly successful start to the season before falling to the bottom of the standings. The team avoided relegation in the summer promotion tournament, but the owners now must sell. In the meantime, the players are left in limbo. Who will buy the slot? Will they keep the players? Where will they go if not?
“(It’s) hard to say,” Mash said. “It is currently the waiting game for me.”