League Of Legends Coach “Literally Asked Everyone For Money”
Zhang Yi has been fired by Team SoloMid over allegations of embezzlement.
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The esports group Team SoloMid just fired its League of Legends coach Zhang Yi over allegations of “conflict of interest and unethical practices.” Zhang Yi who is also known as Peter has enjoyed a long career in esports, working with Team Liquid, Echo Fox, and LMQ before joining Team SoloMid over a year ago.
“We were recently made aware of very serious allegations of conflict of interest and unethical practices against League of Legends coach Peter Zhang,” Team SoloMid said in a statement. “After an initial investigation, we have terminated him effective immediately. We are working with external legal counsel to complete a full investigation.”
Team SoloMid has not given any specific details about the allegations, but colleagues of Zhang Yi have been coming forward with all sorts of surprising stories. Yiliang Peng for example claims that Zhang Yi “asked me to loan him $70,000. He said his grandma had cancer and she’s dying in the hospital. He needs to pay the hospital bill, which is $70,000, and he doesn’t have the money yet, but he will have the money at the end of the month and then he’ll pay me back.” Yiliang Peng spent most of his career as a League of Legends player with Team SoloMid before leaving the group in November, 2021.
Yiliang Peng pointed out that Zhang Yi frequently asked his teammates for money. “Without naming any names, this guy literally asked everyone for money. And the story was different every single time,” Yiliang Peng remarked. “So, he told me that he needed $70,000. He told someone else he needed $200,000. He told someone else he only needed $10,000. For me, he told me his grandma needed an operation. For someone else, he told them his grandma needed stem cell therapy. For somebody else, he told them medicine.”
Speculation within the esports community pointed to match fixing and betting as an explanation for the sudden departure of Zhang Yi from Team SoloMid. League of Legends Esports Commissioner Jackie Felling was however quick to deny this. “Nothing to do with match fixing,” the executive said. “This is an internal team matter. Not making a statement from Riot at all, but I don’t want people to think this had anything remotely to do with match fixing or betting which it does not.”
Zhang Yi was quiet about the reasons for his dismissal from Team SoloMid, saying that “I won’t do any post and comment about this news. This has nothing to be done with in-game match fixing. It’s a very tough lesson for me.” Zhang Yi however said during an interview by Dextero that he ran into financial difficulties, leading him to keep the money from the sale of a car that belonged to a player by the name of Hu Shuo-Chieh. “I recognize that keeping the money was wrong, but I was working towards paying that debt and paid half before I was fired,” Zhang Yi remarked. “My grandmother’s bill was due at the end of this month and so I wasn’t able to pay both debts.”
The allegations made against the coach have been systematically denied by Zhang Yi and legal proceedings are currently underway. There has been no word as to whether or not Riot plans to get involved in the affair.