We also have some news about two players at Worlds. Check out our headlines below for the esports news you need to know.
Large football club buys esports team
It seems every week we’ve seen either a large sports franchise or a professional sports player becoming involved with an esports team.
This week, that entrant is Paris Saint-Germain, a French professional football club based in Paris.
PSG has won 31 titles in its history and is considered the most successful club in French football. It’s also one of only two French clubs to win a European title.
Webedia, a French online media company, and their subsidiary company Bang Bang, have purchased the rights to Team Huma, which was actively selling its League of Legends European Challenger Series spot.
The team will be rebranded as Paris Saint-Germain eSports next season.
The deal is rumored to have cost $70,000 for Webedia. Explained Cédric Sire, CEO of Webedia:
“You will soon see the teams ‘Paris Saint-Germain eSports’, wearing the same jersey that the players of the football team [use]. The big clubs of the traditional sport will want to take control of e-sports. We are ahead of this transformation by proposing to operate under license.”
Webedia will own the license to build an esports organization using the name, logos, images, and brand of Paris Saint-Germain.
Team Huma was banned from Riot-sanctioned events earlier this year over improper compensation for players.
This isn’t Webedia’s first venture into esports.
The company acquired a license in 2014 to operate IGN France and Brazil in cooperation with the American company Ziff Davis. At the same time, Webedia struck up a partnership with esports team Millenium before eventually purchasing the team.
Sasha Brodowski, CEO of Bang Bang, facilitated the deal.
Bang Bang is widely known as a community esports talent agency that represents such players as Bora “Yellowstar” Kim of Fnatic and Steven “Hans sama” Liv of Misfits.
It also has media marketing deals with Fnatic and HyperGames.
Paris Saint-Germain will now be the second major soccer club to involve themselves with an esports team. FC Schalke 04 acquired an LCS spot earlier this year.
Unlike FC Schalke 04, Paris Saint-Germain does not currently have a controlling interest in its team.
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EDG top laner abruptly leaves Worlds
Yu-hao “Mouse” Chen, EDward Gaming’s star top laner, has abruptly left North America to attend to family matters in China. It is being reported by Riot that Mouse will be addressing the loss of a close family member.
Per Worlds rules, EDward Gaming is permitted to replace Mouse with a player from its season-ending active roster.
That player appears to be Yang “Koro1” Tong. The Worlds rulebook, Section 3 Article 2, states that each team is required to maintain an active five-player roster during the tournament and certain rules are in place for an occasion such as this:
Each team is required to maintain, at all times during Worlds, five players in the starting lineup (“Starters”), and one substitute player (“Reserve”) (collectively, the “Active Roster”) as well as an official coach. The Active Roster is considered locked as of September 7th, 2016, at 11:59am PT. The Active Roster that was submitted to or known by Worlds officials on this date will be considered the eligible Active Roster for Worlds.
This roster lock will not supersede regional roster locks that may have occurred prior to this date. In the absence of a regional roster lock, teams will not be able to add any new players to their roster after their last regional competition preceding Worlds.
In the case of an emergency, a team may add a substitute after this deadline, however, the substitute added must not have been on any other professional roster on September 7th and must have been eligible to be on a professional roster on September 7th. All Starters must have a written contract with the team they are playing for.
Koro1 last started for EDG in the 2016 Spring Split. He was substituted out for Mouse at the start of the 2016 Summer Split.
His current champion pool includes Poppy, Nautilus, and Trundle, current meta champions that should be viable.
It’s worth noting — this is the second time that Koro1 has been subbed in during a quarterfinals match at Worlds. Last year, Koro1 subbed in for AmazingJ when EDG lost in the quarterfinals to Fnatic.
Best wishes to Mouse and his family. EDG will now have to make the best of the situation and hope that Mouse can make it back should EDG advance.
Riot suspends player during group stage
I May’s Hankil “Road” Yoon was suspended during the team’s match against Flash Wolves last weekend for toxic behavior in solo queue. Riot established that Road had verbally abused one of his teammates in a ranked game on the North American (NA) server.
The suspension also carried a $2,000 fine.
“In a particularly severe instance of toxicity, during one game on September 19, he verbally attacked a teammate using racially insensitive language twice.
Professional players are expected to maintain good behavior in and out of game, regardless of the actions of their teammates. Furthermore, racially insensitive language is never acceptable in any environment.”
According to discussions on Reddit and video from Henrik “Froggen” Hansen’s Twitch stream, it appears the Echo Fox midlaner was the recipient of Road’s in-game rage before this incident.
In an interview with The Score, Road attempted to explain his actions.
“The words ‘go die’ that I said to the pro was not telling him to go die but it was because he had so many deaths and every time he went to mid, he would get ganked and die. My ability to communicate in English is very limited, which is why I said it that way.
I want to apologize to my coaches, teammates and the pro player for causing this kind of issue during the tournament. I will be cautious to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.”
With I May’s loss to Cloud9, the team was eliminated from Worlds. There is no word on any further action against Road at this time.