League of Legends

Griffin could be kicked out of LCK 2020 over cvMax drama

by Andrew Amos
Michal Konkol for Riot Games

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Riot Games has released a follow-up to their initial investigation on November 20, saying that they will be revising Kim ‘cvMax’ Dae-ho’s punishment, and that Griffin could be removed from the LCK in 2020.

A new page in the Griffin scandal has been turned, with Riot releasing a follow-up statement into the saga that has rocked Korean League of Legends.

After three players left the team earlier this week, and all other players given the option to leave as free agents, Griffin will now have to abide by a new set of Riot guidelines, or risk getting removed from the LCK.

Michal Konkol for Riot Games
Michal Konkol for Riot Games
Griffin could go from Challengers, to Worlds, to banned in the space of two years.

In a damning statement on November 27, Riot Korea gave an update to the community just a week after their first report.

Riot has since backtracked on some of their initial findings, including cvMax’s indefinite suspension from all Riot-affiliated tournaments.

"The committee accepts that it has not earned the trust of the players on the fairness on the penalty that was applied to [cvMax]," Riot said, according to a translation by ESPN. "Hence, we have decided to postpone the penalty that was previously issued on cvMax.”

Riot also apologised to the former Griffin coach and the wider LoL community over their lack of transparency. cvMax will now return to his post as the coach of LCK team DragonX, after signing with the organization at the start of November.

Facebook: DragonX
Facebook: DragonX
cvMax will coach DragonX in LCK 2020, with Lehends, Doran, and Chovy rumored to join him.

Riot Korea has instead opened up the investigation to an independent third-party, who will look into the cvMax case with fresh eyes.

“The committee will commission a new investigation to a trustworthy external party, including law enforcement,” it said.

Riot also announced jungler Seo ‘Kanavi’ Jin-hyuk was granted free agency from both his Griffin contract and his loan to Chinese LPL team JD Gaming.

"Due to the complexity around [Kanavi's] loan and transfer status and the Korean and international law involved in the situation, a significant amount of time was taken for Kanavi to obtain this free-agency status, for which we are deeply apologetic," it said.

Twitter: Team Griffin LoL
Twitter: Team Griffin LoL
Kanavi's contract between Griffin and JD Gaming has been cancelled.

The game developer will also ensure management across all teams is up-to-standard, committing to introducing an LCK-standard contract by June 2020, and investigating all current contracts in the premier competition.

Riot Korea concluded its follow-up report by demanding Griffin make major management changes, or face removal from the Korean League of Legends system.

All executives of Still8, Griffin’s parent company, must resign before January 1, and reinstate new management before the start of the 2020 LCK season.

The new Griffin management must disclose all business interests by LCK 2020 Summer Promotion, and old management must sell their stock in Still8.

LinkedIn: Still8
LinkedIn: Still8
Still8 are the owners of Griffin, who compete in League, Overwatch, PUBG, and more.

If Griffin refuses to change their management, Riot Korea will take action against the team, including more fines and removal from the LCK and Challengers Korea tournaments. 

The saga has been lingering around the Korean rising star LoL team for the last two months, starting after the firing of coach cvMax right before Worlds 2019. Allegations of contract tampering, violence against players, and corruption have come to light since.

A petition made to the South Korean Blue House, the house of the President, has reached 200,000 signatures. This means the South Korean government will open their own inquiries into the situation and release a statement on behalf of the President in the near future.