Player development manager and former Team SoloMid coach Peter Zhang was removed from his role last March due to serious allegations of conflict of interest and unethical practices against him. A few months later, following an investigation by Riot Games, Riot Games announced that it had made the decision to permanently ban it from the League of Legends scene.
Riot Games closes Peter Zhang’s case with a permanent ban
In March, Team SoloMid management announced that it had terminated the contract of its LCS player development manager Peter Zhang, who was previously the team’s manager. Although no information was made public on the exact details of the situation at this precise moment, the short statement published on the social networks had made it clear that very serious allegations of conflicts of interest and unethical practices had been leveled against Peter Zhang, and that, after having carried out an initial investigation, the club’s management had decided to fire him with immediate effect. The SoloMid team is working with an outside legal counsel to complete a full investigation.
A few days later, we learned that his dismissal would be financial; he allegedly abused his functions and his place in the North American organization to enrich himself. At the same time as he assumed the functions of head coach, Peter Zhang would also take on those of the player’s agent, developing a method that consisted of taking money in exchange for the inclusion of some Taiwanese or Chinese players in the TSM roster; to secure their hiring by TSM, he would take part of their paid earnings in the form of compensation. Peter Zhang would then receive a commission on the players he has helped sign with TSM in recent years.
In addition, Peter Zhang is also said to have borrowed large sums of money from many prominent figures in the TSM organization, including players from the main roster and academy. The use of this money was unclear, although Peter Zhang himself said he needed it following a medical emergency involving his grandparents. It would appear that almost all of the borrowed money has been repaid. A former member of the Team SoloMid facility, in the person of Doublelift, had also shared some anecdotes about Peter Zhang’s firing, stating that Peter Zhang had asked him for the sum of $ 70,000 because his grandmother had cancer and she was dying in the hospital. ‘hospital; this sum was to be used to pay the bill for the treatment, an amount that he did not have at the time of the request, but which he had undertaken to repay later. Doublelift also said he wasn’t the only person Peter Zhang asked for money and that the money he borrowed would be used to pay for female streamers on Weibo.
Several weeks, towards the end of May, a recently published report by our colleagues at Dexerto’s site allowed us to learn that the North American organization TSM had found evidence against former coach Zhang “Peter Zhang” Yi, making him guilty of financial irregularities, and inappropriate behavior regarding players’ salaries. An internal investigation confirmed that Peter Zhang embezzled money from players’ salaries, acting as a buffer between players and undisclosed third parties, in the amount of over $ 300,000. This same investigation confirmed that Zhang sold a car in the name of former TSM SwordArt support player for $ 80,000, but never returned any money to the player; Zhang had returned about $ 35,000 to SwordArt, according to the investigation, while the remaining $ 45,000 the former coach had made from the sale had not yet been repaid. Also according to the investigation report, in addition to withholding some of the money from the sale of SwordArt’s car, Zhang also attempted to borrow money from eight players and TSM staff, including the players he was responsible for.
The results of this May poll were recently confirmed by Riot Games, which announced last night that it had made the decision to ban former TSM manager Peter Zhang from the entire competitive scene; Riot Games confirmed that Peter Zhang embezzled approximately $ 250,000 in salaries from two TSM players between December 2021 and February 2022. Both involved players would receive a significant portion of their salaries through a third party entity (“entity”). in China. The Entity has obtained several bank accounts from the players to deposit their salaries. Peter Zhang has provided the Entity with accounts purporting to be on behalf of the players. However, the accounts provided were mostly affiliated with Peter Zhang. As a result, most of the players’ salaries were diverted to accounts belonging to Peter Zhang. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that, during his employment at TSM, Peter Zhang shared non-public information relating to TSM’s hiring decisions, potentially in exchange for a personal advantage. Between January 18, 2022 and March 18, 2022, Peter Zhang solicited a total of eight TSM players (over which he had management authority) and staff members to lend him around $ 15,000. TSM learned of Peter Zhang’s solicitation on March 18, 2022 and took immediate action to cancel pending wire transfers, preventing Peter Zhang from receiving at least another $ 20,000 in loans. To date, approximately $ 4,500 remains unpaid to players who have lent money to Peter Zhang.
During the investigation, Riot Games invited Peter Zhang to submit his statement on the above allegations, but did not provide any convincing evidence to disprove the accuracy of the report’s findings; he will then no longer be allowed to coach a team or be part of an organization playing a game developed by Riot Games.
Zhang “Peter Zhang” Yi is permanently banned from any association or affiliation with any team or organization in any competition organized by Riot for engaging in what we believe to be alarming and unethical behavior towards current and former players and staff. TSM. Peter Zhang violated the LCS rules and the LCS eligibility and release agreement by diverting a portion of players’ salaries to accounts belonging to Peter Zhang and his associates, betrays a former TSM player and has not fully compensated him for the sale of his cars and looking for loans from TSM players and staff.