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Riot Games banned SolaFide Esports owner Colin “Oddity” Ethan on Monday for withholding player and management staff wages.
The competitive ruling states Oddity is barred from associating with a team in a Riot Games-sanctioned league indefinitely. Oddity can apply for reinstatement in three years, and SoldaFide cannot participate in any Riot-ran leagues until a change in ownership is confirmed.
Competitive Ruling: SolaFide Esports
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) April 26, 2021
SolaFide Esports players leave after failed payments
SolaFide Esports entered the League of Legends scene with an amateur team that participated in the new amateur circuit. They signed an LCS-level bottom lane duo and three veterans of the LCS Academy system. They also picked up veterans of the scene for management positions, including people like ex-CLG coach Mathew Alexander “xSojin” Perez. The team competed in, and won, some of the early tournaments, like Challengers Uprising and the Unified Grand Prix, all while not paying staff, according to the Riot report.
In the ruling, Riot laid out the timeline of events from the roster. Signed in late December, SoldaFide is on the hook for two months of lost wages. After the organization failed to pay for work done in January and February, Oddity told the team and staff they would be paid in 72 hours. That payment never happened.
The staff gave the owner another chance by giving him the chance to pay two members of the staff that needed the money on March 5. Neither staff member received those payments, either. SoldaFide Esports also accepted tournament prize winnings on behalf of the players, though they have not received those winnings according to the report.
On March 18, the SoldaFide Esports League of Legends team disbanded.
The LCS is in discussions with SolaFide and its players. In the meantime, the players have chosen to disband the team instead of participating in Proving Grounds. (1/2)
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) March 19, 2021
SoldaFide respond to Riot Games ban
After the ruling went public, Oddity responded with a Twitlonger to explain the situation. He claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic caused complications with finances and impeded payments to players and staff.
Regarding SolaFide –
— 𝗢𝗱𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘆 (@sF_Oddity) April 26, 2021
“Unfortunately, this coupled with the inability to transfer funds internationally has caused us significant accounting issues which has made us unable to pay out our contracts in a timely fashion.” Oddity said in the statement.
He also wrote that this will be the end of the organization’s involvement in the Riot Games title. In the SoldaFide Esports Discord, DemonicTim, the organization’s Chief Operating Officer, told their community that the players will be paid.
The SolaFide Esports LLC has been dissolved according to documents filled by founder Roberto Pando on April 9. Pando has taken the organization out of his LinkedIn bio and his Twitter account has been deleted.
The SolaFide Esports ban comes more than a month after Riot Games was notified of the issues. According to the report, LCS officials based their ruling off of screenshots of messages and SolaFide’s transaction history. Oddity will be able to apply for reinstatement for a league position in 2024.
SolaFide currently operate an Apex Legends team and a staff of streamers and content creators.
Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.