Though MonteCristo has commentated in multiple esports titles, prior to joining the Overwatch League he was best known for his time in League of Legends, during which he and commentary duo Eric ‘DoA’ Lonnquist were the main voices for South Korea’s LCK.
During his time in League of Legends, MonteCristo had several run-ins with Riot Games. Working primarily for OGN, rather than for Riot directly as most commentators in the NA or EU LCS did, MonteCristo was often willing speak out against the developers.
It was the handling of the controversy surrounding his own NA LCS team, Renegades, that ultimately led to MonteCristo departing League of Legends for good, however.
The former LCK commentator held an ownership stake in Renegades in 2015 when his business partner, Chris Badawi, was banned from the LCS. Badawi had been responsible for operating the organization due to MonteCristo spending most of his time in South Korea.
The official ban was for attempted poaching, although other accusations levelled against Badawi included mistreatment of Renegades players. MonteCristo himself was not accused of any wrongdoing.
In May 2016, however, a new competitive ruling announced that Renegades would be forced to sell its LCS spot on the basis of an alleged agreement between MonteCristo and Badawi to allow the latter to return to his ownership position when his ban was lifted. MonteCristo denies these allegations and claims not to have been provided with the supposed evidence by Riot, nor has such evidence been made public.
Given such a bitter end to their working relationship, it’s hard to imagine a world in which MonteCristo appears on a Riot Games broadcast again. While visiting the LCS, however, he was interviewed by LocoDoco, and when asked whether he’d consider returning to League of Legends in the event that the Overwatch League ended, revealed the terms under which he might.
“I would do it potentially if Riot made public apologies to me about everything that happened, but I really have no reason to work for a company that treated me like shit and if they acknowledge they did that maybe it can happen again.”
MonteCristo also reiterated that nothing short of a public apology would suffice, given the significance of public perception to him as a public figure.
[Timestamp at 5:02 for mobile viewers]
MonteCristo was a popular figure in League of Legends, responsible for multiple highlight moments both in the LCK and on international broadcasts – perhaps most famously the ‘SKT hype train’ at the Season 3 World Championship – so fans might be pleased to hear that there is a world in which he could return to the game, even if the circumstances for such a return seem quite unlikely.