Allegations by Lucky Future against Robin Shi and Johnson Jiang (EN Translation)
Original article: https://www.weibo.com/ttarticle/p/show?id=2309404354147179747041#_0
EDIT: Before I start, I should explain who Robin Shi and Johnson Jiang are. Shi is responsible for managing Chinese Contenders, and Jiang is responsible for managing the Chinese Overwatch esports scene as a whole. In essence, Shi reports to Jiang, and both are employees of Blizzard China.
Allegations against Robin Shi:
- Between 6 and 11 March of 2018, former LGD Gaming head coach broke standard procedure and privately contacted LF support Garry. He lied about him having an OWL slot, and requested LF to negotiate for a transfer fee. This happened prior to the start of Contenders, so Garry’s practice schedule was hampered by this debacle.
LF discovered evidence disproving the claims made by LGD’s head coach, and turned it to Shi, but no investigations took place. No actions were taken against the head coach.
- When LF published an article on NGA outlining some roster moves on 20 March, 2018, LGD opened many smurf accounts to spam messages on the thread smearing LF. After NGA moderators confirmed and posted about the spam accounts, LF brought this to Shi’s attention. No only did Shi not open an investigation, he blamed LF for making the post in the first place and giving him more work to do.
Additionally, Johnson Jiang accused LF of colluding with NGA in order to smear LGD’s reputation. Jiang made the allegation without evidence.
- Shi has been accused of unfairly favouring certain teams, while also unwarrantedly attacking and harassing other teams, including LF. This includes spreading misleading rumours.
- During the Lunar New Year period in 2018, LF found evidence of former player XiaoHai boosting and account sharing, and immediately terminated his contract. Shi was notified by LF of the boosting allegations, but said that investigations would have to wait as there was another issue to be settled. Meanwhile, XiaoHai appeared on the roster of Hero Taciturn Panther (another Contenders team at the time).
- When LF confronted the Blizzard team about events (1) and (2) above, Shi responded to the team with “LF and LGD are big organizations in the Chinese scene, some competition between the two of them would be healthy for the scene.”
- When LF faced Legend Young Beyond in Contenders on 13 April, 2018, LYB played with an account (LYBmusubi) that did not match with any of the accounts listed on the Contenders website. According to the rules, if the account name played does not match up with the official list, then it would be considered cheating. However, LF was pressured to continue the match despite the irregularity.
- When Lucky Future Zenith played against Team CC in Contenders on 15 April, 2018, LFZ dropped the first two maps. Shi, without first informing the general manager of LFZ — which should be the first point of contact, called the owner of LF, Liu Fan, and asked whether LFZ was engaging in match fixing. The call occurred while the match was still ongoing.
- Shi allegedly delayed any information about Contenders to the teams. For instance, the rosters of all teams in Contenders Season 1 2019 were not officially published until a few days before the first matches began. When the team managers asked about the rosters, Shi requested the managers to wait until he settled some work. When colleagues were asked about what Shi was working on, they replied that Shi had been gaming in the office.
Allegations against Johnson Jiang:
- Around 8 March, 2018, LF was invited to attend a meeting about the upcoming season of Contenders. LF received an entry agreement where they had to sign the agreement to be able to participate in Contenders. LF had disagreements with several of the rules (which have since been changed), which are:
- OWL teams could sign any player from Contenders without notifying the Contenders team the player was playing for
- OWL teams had to pay a transfer fee equal to 25% of the players annual salary in OWL to the Contenders team
(You can read the original rules here)
At the time, Garry had offers to join an OWL team (it turned out to be the fraudulent case made by the LGD head coach), and LF expressed concerns that due to these clauses, LF could not continue playing in Contenders. While several NetEase members decided to help LF, Jiang replied, “If LF doesn’t play, and also considering his influence, we would have to enter damage control.” He continued, “The boss of LF cares about too much, get him to fuck off.”
Jiang then threatened Liu, “These are the rules set by the American OWL office, there is no room for negotiation. If you don’t agree with them then you’ll just have to leave.”
- (relating to point 2 of the allegations against Shi) When NGA announced that LGD was posting on smurf accounts on LF’s thread, LF informed Jiang to tell Shi to get NGA to remove the posts from LGD. Jiang accused LF of conspiring with NGA to smear the name of LGD.
- During the grand finals of Season 1, Liu was informed by Jiang that there was a closed meeting for potential OWL spot buyers happening the next day. As Liu thought it was strange to be informed about the meeting only a day before, he asked other staff members about it. It turns out the meeting was planned long in advance, and Liu was only informed the day before. LF accused Jiang of doing whatever he can to prevent LF from buying an OWL spot.
- After LFZ was crowned champions of Contenders Season 1 2018, LF was in talks with partners willing to invest with the LF organization. After Jiang heard about the talks, he smeared the reputation of LF to those investors, saying that LF is an unprofessional organization, that the owner of LF was an unstable person and had no long-term plans, and that working with LF would result in failure. Since then, talks have fallen through.
- In August 2018, Liu had to leave temporarily due to a passing in his family, and could not continue negotiations with potential partners. Jiang opportunistically intervened, and continued smearing LF’s reputation. After LFZ won the Season 2 championship, in fear that LF would be ramping up negotiations with potential partners, Jiang spread the rumour that the entire roster of LFZ had been signed to an unknown OWL team, and implied that partners should cease negotiations with LF, which ruined the possibility that LF could have owned an OWL spot.
- In the mean time, Jiang secretly helped another organization seeking an OWL spot to partner with a streaming organization in order to get an OWL spot together.
- When LF confirmed the organization did not get an OWL spot in September 2018, they began helping the players find an OWL team. Nonetheless, Jiang continued doing all he could to prevent the LFZ players from joining an OWL team. When LF was beginning to find trials for the players, Jiang spread the rumour that LF was working with an OWL team, and that the LFZ roster had been entirely transferred to said OWL team, and that LF would act as their academy team. Liu, upon receiving word of the rumour, vehemently denied it.
Toronto Defiant was accused of lying to Lucid that he was signed to the team after he signed the contract. However, the team never signed the contract, hence the contract was not considered to be valid. Afterwards, rumours that Lucid was already signed to a team spread, so teams stopped pursuing him. Despite further offers from teams, Lucid decided to retire from Overwatch.
- When LF asked colleagues of Jiang about why he did all of this, the overwhelming consensus was because LF never supported him or did him any favours.
P.S. According to the post, LF claims that they have witnesses, and have transcripts of the original conversations. They will collaborate with Blizzard should there be any investigations.