The LPL administration has fined JD Gaming 350,000 RMB (approximately $50,200) for trying to sign former Griffin jungler Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok to an illegitimate contract. Although Kanavi never signed said contract and was eventually acquired through a legit one, JDG are still to pay the fine for offering the player a five-year deal, when the maximum allowed amount as per Riot Games regulation is three years.
Kanavi’s situation was first made public by Griffin’s former coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho, who disclosed details about the deal which at the time was still being negotiated. According to cvMax, former Griffin director Cho Gyu-nam altered Kanavi’s contract to allow the five-year loan and bypassed Kanavi’s (a minor according to Korean law) legal guardians — his parents.
The allegations triggered a joint investigation by the LCK and LPL offices which eventually verified director Cho’s wrongdoing. Amid the investigation, director Cho resigned and was subsequently banned from Riot Games from taking part in LoL esports. Riot further ordered Griffin parent company Still8 to step down from managing the team, divest, and surrender operations to a new party, while at the same time vowing to review all LCK contracts for any other unlawful clauses.
In the end, Kanavi did transfer to JD Gaming by signing an approved contract, but even discussing the five-year option was enough to evoke punishment upon the LPL team.
“We hope that the participants of the professional and semi-professional leagues can abide by the regulations of the league. The disciple management of the league will also insist on handling various violations seriously and with a firm grasp to ensure the healthy development of the League of Legends esports ecosystem,” the LPL wrote in their official announcement.
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