Riot responds to reports G2, Cloud9 colluded to block Perkz transfer to Fnatic

Alan Bernal
Tina Jo/Riot Games via ESPAT

Riot Games reportedly allowed the buyout agreement between G2 Esports and Cloud9 to have a clause blocking Perkz from moving to Fnatic, and is now revisiting the rules surrounding that provision.

Dot Esports obtained a copy of Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković’s 2020 buyout agreement which reportedly shows a clause that said C9 could not sell the Croatian to G2’s longtime LEC rival, Fnatic.

Specifically, the report said Cloud9 couldn’t sell Perkz to Fnatic for a term of three years. Perkz’s contract with C9 is said to be just short of $9 million over a three-year span.

Riot’s LCS branch approved the agreement after all parties signed it in November 2020, Dot said. Fnatic complained to Riot’s local LEC office before taking the matter to the global esports department.

Riot did not immediately respond to Dexerto’s request for comment.

Perkz buyout agreement to sign with C9 reportedly included a clause that prevented him to be sold to Fnatic.

One year into Perkz’s C9 contract, the 23-year-old is rumored for a move back to the LEC and is expected to sign with Team Vitality with top lane star Barney ‘Alphari’ Morris.

Though the G2-C9 deal was approved, Director Global Esports Operations at Riot Games Tom Martell said the trade restriction wasn’t going to be upheld. The company will no longer allow similar non-compete clauses in future deals.

“We want to clear up any confusion related to the G2 – C9 transfer of Perkz that took place last offseason,” a statement from Martell said. “As reported, the transfer agreement includes a provision preventing C9 from freely transferring Perkz to FNC. Onward transfer restrictions is a novel issue within the professional LoL Esports ecosystem. Our current rules governing player transfers do not explicitly prohibit restrictions on future transfers by the receiving team, so we will not penalize G2 and C9 for including such a clause in their agreement. However, as we recently communicated to G2, C9, and FNC, Riot does not intend to enforce the trade restriction and would recognize the transfer of Perkz to any team upon receipt of the appropriate paperwork in accordance with the league rules. The enforcement of the restriction is a private contractual matter between the teams, to be resolved as appropriate in accordance with applicable law.

“Going forward, we will update our rules to prohibit future restrictions in transfer agreements, as they are not in line with the values and interests of our sport.”

LCSPA respond to Riot’s Perkz decision

The League of Legends Championship Series Players Association (LCSPA) have opened their own investigation on the G2 deal with Cloud9.

“The LCSPA is independently investigating the circumstances of this report and will fight any agreement that illegally or unethically restricts player movement or alters player bargaining power,” the organization said.

The LCSPA was created to protect players from “any effort to diminish their rights, opportunities, or ability to compete” across different matters.

This is an issue they’ve raised with Riot and they will further explore the G2-C9 agreement that barred the NA team from selling Perkz to Fnatic.