League of Legends
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Beijing esports organization JD Gaming has signed former Griffin player Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok as its starting jungler for the 2020 League of Legends season. In recent weeks, the 19-year-old has been in the middle of a conflict with his former team regarding contract issues. Kanavi now returns to JD Gaming, after previously being loaned to the Chinese organization for the 2019 Tencent League of Legends Pro League (LPL) Summer Split.
Kanavi leaves Griffin
After an investigation by Riot Games into Kanavi’s contract, Griffin director Cho Gyu-Nam has been banned and former coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-Ho permanently banned from business activities. The case is also now a formal criminal investigation in South Korea. This situation surrounds Kanavi signing a transfer contract while he was still a minor and without the consent of his legal representative.
In the ruling, Riot stated that Cho Gyu-Nam had used his position to pressure Kanavi into transferring to JD Gaming during the Summer Split. Griffin’s law firm, VEAT, had placed itself as Kanavi’s legal representative, even if he was a minor at the time. The team also received a 100 million won ($85,000 USD) fine for their handling of the situation.
Returning to JD Gaming
Kanavi transferred to JD Gaming on a loan from Griffin before the 2019 Rift Rivals event. While he showed great performance in the LPL, he had to share the jungler position with Sung “Flawless” Yeon-jun and Pan “Xiaohan” Han. JD Gaming ended the 2019 LPL Summer Split in 10th place out of a total of 16 teams, making it just under the top half bracket.
With 6 wins and 9 losses, JD Gaming made a run for a 2019 World Championships slot through the Regional Finals, but they fell to Invictus Gaming to end up in 3rd place. With the end of the LPL Summer Split, Kanavi’s contract loan from Griffin came to an end and he transferred back. However, due to this situation involving the contract itself, he is now returning to the Chinese team.
Flawless has since been released from the roster, so there is only Xiaohan left to contend with him for the jungler role. What do you think about JD Gaming in the 2020 LPL Season? Let us know about your opinion, and keep up with Daily Esports for all of your League of Legends coverage.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.