Riot Games has taken action against Galatasaray Esports. The team, participating in the Turkish Championship League (TCL), has been suspended from competing for the entirety of the Spring Split, after failing to complete salary payments to players and coaching staff. There won't be a replacement team for the Spring Split—the TCL will compete with nine teams instead of with ten.
Riot's announcement, translated, reads: "As a result of our research, we found that Galatasaray Esports could not complete the delayed player and coach payments as of December 27, 2019. In order to remain the professional standards of the Vodafone FreeZone Championship League, Galatasaray Esports' right to participate in the league is suspended as of the 2020 Winter Season [Spring Split]. (...) With the suspension of Galatasaray Esports' right to participate in the league, all contracts for players and coaches the team has acquired for the 2020 season can unilaterally be terminated." Riot will re-evaluate the situation ahead of the Summer Split, to see if Galatasaray Esports has solved the issues.
The wrongdoings of Galatasaray reached wider audiences when Lee "GBM" Chang-seok, the team's mid laner at the time, spoke up on Twitter early December, asking the team's management why payments kept being delayed. A week and a half later, Riot announced it would investigate the situation.
In an interview with Inven Global, GBM explained the situation: "I joined Galatasaray in May and I received a salary worth a month and a half in August. Afterward, I kept requesting for the unpaid salary, but the team kept responding, ‘we’ll give you next week, we’ll update you next week’. I had no choice but trust that and wait up to now. Around mid-November, the team said, ‘we’ll end this salary problem within next week’. However, they continued to ignore my messages asking to get my remaining salary, so I decided to make this issue public through social media."
GBM wasn't the only player affected: "Our jungler, BalKhan also didn’t receive anything since August. GOdbro and Tolerant said that they also haven’t been getting their payment for 8 months." GBM has now joined LCK's team Griffin. The only players left on Galatasaray's roster, as per lol.gamepedia, are Ragner, MGX and Dumbledoge.
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