LoL coach fired ‘literally asked everyone for money’, says ex-pro

North American esports organization Team SoloMid (TSM) fired its League of Legends head coach and player development Zhang ‘Peter Zhang’ Yi on March 18. in LoL esports, he has also worked with Team Liquid, Echo Fox and LMQ.

TSM’s statement about the layoff, posted on its various social channels, is as clinical as it gets:

“We were recently made aware of very serious allegations of conflict of interest and unethical practices against League of Legends coach Peter Zhang. After an initial investigation, we immediately fired him. We are working with outside attorneys to complete a full investigation.”

In the following days, TSM remained silent, but several other parties did not. Most notably, this includes Yiliang ‘DoubleLift’ Peng, who is now retired but widely considered the greatest NA LoL player of all time. DoubleLift spent most of his career at TSM before his association with the team ended in November 2021 with a degree of acrimony and public recrimination, so keep in mind this guy has a beef with the team. That said, most of his claims are first-hand and absolutely amazing.

In a recent Twitch stream, DoubleLift claims that Zhang asked him for $70,000 to cover hospital treatment for a relative. “He asked me for a $70,000 loan,” says DoubleLift. “He said his grandmother 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’ll have the money at the end of the month and so he’ll pay me back.”

Wary of a request from someone he didn’t know well, DoubleLift asked other TSM members to see if Zhang had tried something similar.

“Without naming names, this guy literally asked everyone for money, and the story was different each time,” DoubleLift said. “So he told me he needed 70k, he told someone else he needed 200k, he told someone else he only needed 10k. For me he told me his grandmother needed an operation, for another person, he said his grandmother needed stem cell therapy. […] to someone else, he told them medicine.”

DoubleLift adds that it occurred to him that China has a public healthcare system – nothing has been added. The player continues to make other baseless claims about Zhang’s habits, but the claim that Zhang directly asked DoubleLift (who has had a lucrative career) for $70,000 is surprising in itself.

Initial speculation about Zhang’s departure focused on match-fixing and gambling (a persistent problem for competitive LoL), but League Championship Series commissioner Jacki Felling got into a rut. wire about the dismissal to write:

“Nothing to do with match-fixing. This is an internal team matter. I’m not making a statement from Riot, but I don’t want people to think this has anything remotely to do with match-fixing or betting, which it doesn’t. . “

Yi himself would later post on TSM Discord, writing, “I will not post and comment on this news. This has nothing to do with match-fixing in the game. It’s a very hard lesson for me.”

In addition to Doublelift’s claims, a new report on Dexerto contains allegations that Yi was using his position to steal players’ salaries: essentially using his coaching position to also play as an agent, offering potential talent a spot on the roster in exchange for a cut of his earnings. This report also confirms what DoubleLift said about Yi asking players for big loans.

Dexerto managed to track down Yi, who is currently in the process of returning to China, and his defense raises more eyebrows. The story now involves Yi trading Yuen’s money for dollars, his grandmother’s surgery, and a Mercedes being sold in China in the name of a former player named SwordArt – which Yi had saved the money from.

“I recognize that keeping money [from the sold car] was wrong, but I was working to pay off this debt and I paid half of it before I got fired,” says Yi. “My grandmother’s account expired at the end of this month and therefore I was not able to pay both debts. I was going through a very difficult financial time, but I will return every penny to SwordArt. The other claims against me are not It is common in China friends and colleagues lend money to each other. I learned a hard lesson about cultural differences in America. I will work with Riot on any investigation and have the evidence necessary to prove my innocence.”

TSM declines to comment beyond its opening statement, which is not surprising when outside counsel is suddenly involved.

There’s more talk of Zhang on the DoubleLift stream and whatever he’s done, but the former pro summed up his perspective most succinctly when he said, “This is Sky Williams levels of ‘never let this person borrow money’ because you’re just giving them a donation.”

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