After some Griffin players accused their former coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho of wrongdoing, Riot Games Korea has decided to officially announce its investigation into the claims just as the coach debuts with his new team.
An official statement from Riot Games states that they have commissioned an investigation to in order to “clarify the facts.” They went on to explain that this was part of their plan to “establish a complaint window” with the Esports Association early next year “to protect human rights in various ways,” including the providing of legal advice for competing players and athletes.
Top laner Choi “Sword” Sung-won filed a police report against cvMax earlier in December, accusing him of violent and abusive behavior. He claimed his former coach would use curse words and threats when giving feedback during training. He said cvMax even grabbed him by his shirt collar and shook him aggressively, something he told Sword he deserved at the time.
Although other Griffin players also came forward with similar accusations, with Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong, Shin “Rather” Hyeong-seop, and their coach aByun “Chaos” Young claiming that they were treated with disrespect. In spite of this, the League of Legends community wasn’t so quick to condemn cvMax.
When the accusations first became public, Riot Games stated they had decided to ban cvMax from League of Legends Champions Korea. But soon after, an online petition calling the ruling unfair reached 200,000 signatures. cvMax was announced as DragonX‘s new head coach for the 2020 season and Riot said the accusations would be addressed by Korea’s governing powers.
“The committee accepts the fact that we did not earn the users’ trust, so we’ve decided to postpone our ruling on cvMax until further notice. Not only will the investigation process be transparent, we will be issuing a final competitive ruling by taking both sides of the story into much consideration,” Riot said at the end of November.
This was followed by a statement that a third party would be invited to investigate the accusations.
The League of Legends community abroad was quick to applaud Riot’s decision, stating that a lawsuit would demand that evidence be provided that points to cvMax abusing players. This would protect cvMax if he was actually innocent, but would also bring forward an even more serious punishment if proof of abuse was provided.
Others pointed out, however, that the timing of the latest announcement was oddly coincidental with cvMax’s coaching debut with new team DragonX. For these fans, this lends more credence to the idea that Riot’s Korean office now has a personal grudge with the former Griffin coach.
Griffin’s former manager, Kim Dae-ho, has already gone on record backing up cvMax’s accusers while also stating that assaults and verbal abuse are common within the esports industry. This has led to discussion around the treatment of pro players in Korea, as some retired pros have offered that behaviors like those exhibited by cvMax have been common among coaches in the scene.