Cloud9 have been forced to backflip on signing 14-year-old Twitch star ‘General Sniper’, a popular League of Legends streamer, after the team broke the LCS’ rules for signing underage members to their organization.
Professional esports teams, like Cloud9, often sign streamers who may not compete on one of their official rosters to represent the organization. Big names like Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel and Tyler ‘Tyler1’ Steinkamp stream under the banners of Luminosity and T1 respectively.
So when Cloud9 signed ‘General Sniper’, a rising star in League of Legends streaming and the younger brother of pro player Omran ‘V1per’ Shoura, no one really batted an eyelid.
General Sniper made waves in the community after hitting Challenger in League of Legends solo queue at the age of 12. He also followed in his brother’s footsteps, becoming one of the best Riven players in the world.
The North American organization confirmed the signing on November 3. However, just hours later, they were forced to take their announcement down, and terminate the young streaming star’s contract.
Cloud9 allegedly broke the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) rules by signing the 14-year-old General Sniper. According to the LCS rulebook, all members of an organization — professional players, staffers, or streamers — must be over the age of 15.
General Sniper said it was “very sad news” to hear he was forced to cancel signing with Cloud9.
Turns out the minimum age to join any team is 15 (even as a streamer) so my contract was terminated, very sad news☹️ I'll be back stronger than ever next year 🙂
— General Sniper (@GeneralSniperr) November 3, 2020
“[It] turns out the minimum age to join any team is 15, even as a streamer, so my contract was terminated,” he said on Twitter shortly after the announcement dropped.
Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne claimed the team was aware of the rule, but only thought it applied to players and staffers, not streamers outside of the LCS ecosystem.
“The rules we received were specific about not contracting the services of anyone under 15 as a pro player, which we didn’t do. We were informed after our announcement that what the rules intended are to bar hiring of any person below the age of 15 for any reason,” Etienne admitted.
“This was new information for us, and we immediately complied.”
This is an unfortunate situation, where a new amateur league is forming without full clarity on how the rules are set up. We hired sniper as a streamer and not as a pro player. These categories, Pro Player vs Streamer, are very different contracts with different obligations. https://t.co/1ItW6sx7NO
— Jack Etienne (@JackEtienne) November 4, 2020
Cloud9 have committed to backing General Sniper in the future though. “General Sniper is a talented streamer with an exciting career ahead of him and we hope we’ll find a way to work together in the future,” Etienne added.
General Sniper currently has almost 17,000 followers on Twitter, as well as nearly 70,000 followers on Twitch.