Riot rules Echo Fox as not guilty for poaching

Esports Asia News
Riot Games has ruled that Echo Fox’s solicitation of Phoenix1 support player Adrian “Adrian” Ma while he was under contract is not poaching, as Riot had yet to receive the documentation from P1 and update the contract database at the time Adrian was approached. In November, theScore esports reported that Echo Fox attempted to poach Adrian after Phoenix1 announced they had signed the player. According to sources close to the player, Echo Fox sent documents to Adrian after Nov. 22, the day his signing was officially announced by P1. While Riot’s 2016 LCS rules state that team members or affiliates may not “solicit, lure, or make an offer of employment to any official coach or player who is signed to any LCS team,” Riot has now ruled that Echo Fox’s actions can not be considered poaching, since Adrian was not considered to be under contract by Riot. In the official ruling, Riot’s Chris “RiotChopper” Hopper wrote that though players may sign contracts before Riot receives documentation, those players are not protected from poaching. According to Hopper, contracts are only listed on the global contract database when the team submits documentation to Riot and receives approval. “As such, Echo Fox was not guilty of poaching here, and acted fully within the boundaries of LCS rules,” Riot wrote. “If any communication with Adrian occurred after the Database was updated, however, that would be a violation of League policy. All previous rulings where teams have been found guilty of tampering/poaching have involved players with valid, League-recognized contracts.” While the contract database has since been updated to include Adrian, several players in various regions are incorrectly listed in the database, ranging from being listed with their expired contracts from last season to being listed as members of the wrong team, or are otherwise not listed at all. At press time, Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho and Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun, who signed with Team Dignitas yesterday, and Jason “WildTurtle” Tran, who signed with Team SoloMid on Dec. 7, are not listed in the database at all. While Paul “sOAZ” Boyer, who signed with Fnatic on Dec. 1 and Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten, who joined H2k-Gaming the same day, are both listed as members of their former teams. Players who have re-signed with their old teams and are listed with expired contracts include five members of Splyce and Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, who re-signed with H2k-Gaming on Nov. 22, the same day that P1 signed Adrian. At the time of publication, the North American sheet on the database was last updated on Dec. 16, while the European sheet was last updated on Dec. 15. According to an NA LCS spokesperson, the database is not updated on a set schedule and is instead updated “as needed when we receive contracts.” As such, the spokesperson explained that contracts are not protected until updated in the database since Riot “wouldn’t otherwise have visibility if [they] don’t have the contracts.”

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