LoL: The most successful team in the USA turns on the FBI to investigate the ex-coach

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In League of Legends, the US team Team SoloMid has now presented the results of an internal investigation. An international law firm has investigated the allegations against former head coach Peter Zhang (28). The coach is said to have “borrowed” tens of thousands of dollars from players whose weal and woe depended on his decisions. He is also accused of having siphoned off salary payments to Chinese players for himself.

This is the situation:

  • In March 2022, Team SoloMid fired its Chinese head coach Peter Zhang without notice. Zhang had been at the club since November 2018. TSM is a 7-time champion in the USA, but has a serious crisis in 2022.
  • The team said the coach was being fired because he was accused of “unethical behavior” and a “conflict of interest”.
  • Zhang said he was in dire straits and needed money for his grandmother’s surgery, so he asked players from his own team to lend him money. That is so common in China. Apparently there was a cultural misunderstanding here (via twitlonger).

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TSM hires international law firm to investigate

These are the results of the investigations: TSM has now gone public with the results of an internal investigation (via dexterto). It is said that the investigation by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LPP, an international law firm, found the following:

  • Mister Zhang diverted around $250,000 in salary payments from two previous TSM games to himself and others.
  • Mr. Zhang agreed to sell a car owned by a player who left the US to return to Asia. The car was sold for $80,000 but the player never received the money. It was only when the player threatened to report Mister Zhang to the authorities that he received around $35,000. The rest of the money is still pending.
  • Mister Zhang tried to borrow money from 8 TSM players and employees. Also from players for whom he was the manager. He said he needed the money for his grandmother’s medical treatment in China. He asked for payments between $1,500 and $22,000. Two players gave him about $15,000 of which he returned about $10,500.
  • Furthermore, when the team heard about the loans, TSM immediately stopped them and also canceled some planned transfers. The company prevented about $54,000 from being sent.
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The investigation concludes that Mister Zhang did not act in the best interests of the team. “Irregularities” were also found in the role played by Zhang in the transfer of players from China.

German e-sports in LoL are a long way from such scandals:

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Coach and talent scout are said to have enriched themselves by transferring Chinese players to TSM

What was the real problem? The investigation concludes that Mister Zhang, together with the former head coach of Victory Five, who is now working as a talent agent in China, referred two Chinese players to TSM. But the money went through different accounts to this talent scout and to Zhang:

As a result, the bulk of player payments between December 2021 and February 2022, including large upfront payments, ended up in non-player bank accounts.

It is also said that Zhang did not cooperate with the people who conducted the investigation. He had repeatedly apologized and put off the investigators until later.

TSM says the matter has now been turned over to the FBI for further investigation.

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Midlaner Maple is the new hope now, set to make it in the midlane.

TSM gets 5 players from China and Taiwan – sporting success did not materialize

That’s what makes it so spicy: For many years, TSM was known for buying the best players in North America and Europe, especially Danes. Overall, the team had a lot of success with this tactic. They became champions in the LCS 7 times, most recently in the summer of 2020 with veterans such as Doublelift, Biofrost and Bjergsen.

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After 2020 and a terrible Worlds, however, practically all players who had worked before were lost: BioFrost, Doublelift and Broken Blade left the team. Bjergsen became coach.

After a strange gap year, which was characterized by the extremely expensive signing of SwordArt, Bjergsen was actually wanted to sign up as a player again, but he left the team. Now TSM decided to make a radical cut.

Since Bjergsen no longer plays for TSM in the middle, it doesn’t work anymore.

In December 2021, TSM suddenly started signing Chinese and Taiwanese players who had not yet made a big name for themselves in Asia. However, TSM was not successful with these players. They ended up 9th out of 10 in the 2022 LCS Spring Split:

  • Between December 2021 and February 2022, TSM brought 3 players from China and Taiwan. 2 supports and a midlaner. All 3 played for the Academy team after a short time.
  • Two more players from Taiwan and China were brought in in March and May 2022. With “Shenyi” (20, support) and Maple (24, midlaner) they now apparently want to start the next season.

Now it seems that the signing of so many players from Taiwan and China was not only a sporting blunder, but also has another very negative connotation. Because it was precisely during this period of unsuccessful transfers that Zhang’s misconduct is said to have occurred:

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