Calls for LoL team sanctions after owner involved in drug price gouge

Calls for LoL team sanctions after owner involved in drug price gouge
Chris Higgins

The owner of League of Legends team Odyssey is behind the decision to inflate prices of Daraprim - a toxoplasmosis treatment for Malaria and AIDS - by more than 50 times.

Martin “Cerebral” Shkreli first set up the eSports organisation Team Imagine in 2014, and has since acquired North American Dota 2 team Leviathan and merged with the LoL team Odyssey last month.

Though the fiscal decisions of Shkreli’s pharmaceutical business to acquire and re-price an expired drug patent do not directly affect the eSports sphere, his actions do fall into the realm of Riot Games LCS legislature.

The regulations, set out by the LoL developer and which must be adhered to by all competing teams, state that: “A team member may not engage in any activity which is deemed by LCS to be immoral, disgraceful, or contrary to conventional standards of proper ethical behaviour.”

As with all legal questions of morality and ethics, this leaves the scenario open to interpretation. The ruling decision then resides with Riot as to whether Shkreli’s actions are immoral or unethical, and also whether the owner of a parent organisation is considered a team member.

Regardless of Riot’s eventual decision, LoL’s fanbase and community have already expressed a desire for the developer to intervene and remove control of the team from the Albanian-American hedge fundee.

There are no equivalent rules for Dota 2, its competitive scene being outside of all-encompassing developer control as it is.

Odyssey would stand to be heavily penalised if any ruling prevented them competing in LCS events, as their recent run in the North American Challenger league placed them in the semi-finals of May’s Summer playoffs, where they failed to qualify for the league proper at the hands of Cloud9 Tempest.

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