Mexican League of Legends team Lyon Gaming will soon be forced to compete under a new brand, as a contract breach saw Riot Games fine the team $12,500 (£9,490).
The team, which competes in the Latin America North League (LLN), faces the punishment as Riot announces a violation of the contract that the team had signed upon entering the league.
The ruling comes after Riot was notified by a third party that the name and logo of Lyon Gaming did not belong to the organisation’s owner. When Lyon had joined the LLN, they had signed legal documentation acknowledging their rights to the brand – whilst apparently aware that the appropriate rights were actually in conflict.
It has now come to light that Lyon has been living on borrowed branding for the last three years, as notification from the rightful owner’s legal representation has led to Riot to enforce punishment.
The fine, and change in name and logo have been accepted by the organisation, who will enter the 2018 season under a new moniker. The team will retain its space in the league and is free to make player transfers in the off-season under the same terms that apply to the rest of the organisations in the LLN and CDLN.
Lyon’s punishment comes after one of the most successful seasons in the team’s history, as a dominant domestic season culminated in a strong run to a 17th-20th placing at the League of Legends World Championships, where they were knocked out at the final stage of the Play-Ins by Cloud9. As a result of that finish, the team stands to win around $35,000 (£26,600), depending on the final result of fan contribution to the prize pool.
Esports Insider says: It’s a shame that Lyon’s history has been blighted by what appears to be an amateurish wrongdoing, but we’re glad to hear that they have cooperated with Riot. Hopefully similar teams in growing leagues will learn from their mistake.