UPDATE 4/27: SolaFide Esports has stated in a tweet that the organization will be ceasing operations until all former team members are compensated.
UPDATE 4/26: Since SolaFide Esports initially withdrew from the 2021 LCS Proving Grounds, Inven Global reached out to members of the team to ask for a statement to no avail. While no members of the team have made any statements at this time, SolaFide Esports owner Colin "Oddity" Ethan has published a statement via Twitlonger. In the statement, Oddity apologizes to all parties involved and confirms that SolaFide will be leaving competitive League of Legends due to his indefinite ban.
Last month, red-hot amateur team SolaFide Esports, boasting a roster consisting of former League of Legends Championship Series and LCS Academy veterans, dissolved its roster after the players were in talks with Riot Games for reasons unknown at the time. Since SolaFide pulled out of the 2021 LCS Spring Proving Grounds, it was suspected that the players were not being paid their initially promised salaries, which were apparently very high for an amateur organization.
On April 23, Riot Games announced a competitive ruling leveled towards SolaFide Esports, particularly in the direction of owner Colin “Oddity” Ethan. The findings from Riot Games' investigation confirmed that Oddity failed to pay the players, coaches, and management staff of SolaFide Esports for contracts that began on January 1, 2021.
As a result, Oddity's three-year ban will begin from the first day of those contracts and extend until at least January 1, 2024, which is the first date he is eligible to apply for competitive reinstatement. Oddity is banned from competitive League of Legends for three years, but SolaFide Esports is not. However, for the team to compete in Riot-sanctioned leagues, the organization must first provide a proof of sale and a change in ownership to LCS officials.
Members of SolaFide brought the matter to LCS Officials before the start of LCS Proving Grounds. During the course of investigation, LCS Officials reviewed extensive screenshots of correspondence between persons of interest and evidence of SolaFide’s incoming and outgoing transactions. Additionally, LCS Officials conducted interviews with the five SolaFide players, their coaches and team managers, SolaFide management personnel, and the SolaFide owner Oddity.
Only time will tell in terms of where SolaFide's former players will end up, but chances are that the organization itself will not be competing for some time due to the change in ownership required to do so within Riot Games' competitive circuit.
All images by: SolaFide Esports