H2K/TSM in legal dispute over Svenskeren
According to an article by Breibart.com’s Richard Lewis, Team SoloMid and H2K are entering in legal disputes over the contract of jungler Dennis “Svenskeren”Johnsen.
The player who recently left his former team SK Gaming has been offered a contract from both teams, and this has caused the situation to intensify. The European team has been rumored to have approached Dennis first and they had agreed to a contract, but Reginald came up with a counter offer which Svenskeren accepted.
H2K management issued a statement regarding this matter:
‘’H2K has worked diligently and professionally to identify and secure a roster of talented players for its League of Legends team. Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen is a key piece of the roster that has been assembled for the coming year.
H2K, Svenskeren and his family engaged in long discussions and negotiations that culminated in a deal between the parties. Both agreed, in writing, to execute a contract formalizing that deal. This was a legally binding agreement which H2K relied upon as the basis to stop negotiations with other player who were being considered for the Jungle position. In the midst of executing the final contract, Andy “Reginald” Dinh of TSM contacted Svenskeren and attempted to poach him.
Upon learning of the attempted poach, Richard Wells, CEO of H2K informed Reginald that H2K had a binding agreement with this player. Over several communications, H2K clearly advised TSM that Svenskeren was a critical part of the team structure, and TSM’s illegal and anti-competitive actions would cause serious financial harm to H2K. TSM was indifferent and determined to continue with the poaching—Reginald’s only response to Richard Wells was, “Well just do what you need to do”.
With no other options, H2K asked its counsel to formally notify TSM that their actions constituted tortious interference with H2K’s legally binding employment agreement with the player.
TSM have a well-deserved reputation for abusing their stature in eSports to poach players from well-established teams. They seem to believe that they are entitled to ignore poaching rules and other teams’ contracts in order to fend off competition from smaller franchises. This sort of behavior threatens the competitive balance in League of Legends and eSports generally. H2K would like to see Riot Games more aggressively combat such behavior in the League of Legends.’’
It will be interesting how this situation unfolds and who will retain the rights to the jungler. TSM are participating in IEM on November 21-22 and they need to field their team soon.