Former TSM head coach Zhang “Peter Zhang” Yi has discussed his release from TSM stemming from allegations of a conflict of interest.
TSM suddenly announced the release of Peter Zhang, citing “conflict of interest and unethical practices” as the reason for his termination. This was followed by a report by Dexerto’s Richard Lewis that Peter Zhang was serving had also been secretly working as an agent for China and Taiwan-based players, helping them secure a spot on the team while receiving a portion of their income.
Speaking on the matter on Twitter, Peter Zhang denied the details of the report and stated that he had no financial ties to the players he was charged with scouting or their agencies.
Coach Peter Zhang denies TSM allegations of misconduct
Peter Zhang denied fudging scouting reports in order to prioritize specific players and stated he didn’t ultimately have enough control of the organization’s roster decisions to pull off a scheme like TSM alleges.
The former TSM coach focused in on the previous off season tryouts in his rebuttal, explaining that the side was looking to pick up players that could adjust to a more intense practice schedule and he himself was instructed to scout in China. He says TSM “decided to go [with] Chinese players,” and that he “helped and gave suggestions but…never decided anything.”
He also denied that he would approach players to establish a quid pro quo relationship ahead of their joining the team. Peter Zhang claims that he was not present during negotiations as TSM used other staff during negotiations. He also explained the agent representation status for all relevant signings, insisting that he was not involved.
Finally, Peter Zhang repeated his stance that he has “never taken any amount of players earnings as agent fee or helping them go to TSM”, though he confirmed that he did act as a middle man for Chinese players on two occasions. He stated he helped support Wang “Yursan” Sheng-Yu to pay his agent in China due to complicated bank transfers between the USA and China, and pocketing money made by selling former player Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh’s car and not returning it after he left North America. He also apologized for this and reaching out to others within the LoL esports scene for help with paying for a family member’s medical treatments.
Peter Zhang blasts TSM after staff changes
Yi concluded his statement with his personal thoughts around the changes within TSM after some notable departures within the last year. This includes legendary player-turned-coach Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, general manager Parth “Parth” Naidu and president Aileena “Leena” Xu.
He explains that TSM “does not feel the same” following the changes, as he would previously have spoken with the trio for advice in and out of the game. In contrast, he added that now “it feels like everyone is angry or scared about something and there is no one to help” and “everyone wants to just blame each other.”
This coincides with an ongoing investigation by publisher Riot Games into the conduct of TSM founder and CEO Andy “Reginald” Dinh with allegations of bullying and harassment within the organization.