Earlier this week, Riot Games asked teams sponsored by game key reseller G2A to remove the company's logo from their merchandise at the 2015 League of Legends World Championship, as a result of G2A's ongoing sales of leveled LoL accounts and Elo boosts. It later confirmed on Reddit that G2A had been formally banned in September, and that Riot has "no plans to reconsider the decision at this time."
"This was NOT a decision we made lightly, and came after many weeks of back and fourth conversations with G2A to find a resolution, which we were not able to reach an agreement on," Riot's J. Eckert wrote. "We do not at all enjoy affecting the income of the teams, but the LCS rules include guidelines specifically against this sort of thing. We did however keep teams in the loop during the process in an attempt to avoid any surprises."
G2A has now responded to the ban in a press release posted by eSports Observer, and it pulls no punches. The statement describes Riot's behavior as "heavy handed and potentially damaging," saying it has "launched an aggressive attack directed towards the entire global esports community in a failed attempt to dominate and control the industry."
"The [ban notification] e-mail came after G2A tried many friendly ways to meet with Riot, to try and work with them so as not to spoil things for e-sporters; to find a win-win solution. We tried to give them what they wanted, we suspended account selling and Elo Boosting of Accounts, but there were only more and more demands from Riot," G2A said. "No positive answer to several propositions of how to empower the e-sport industry together, in favor of gamers. Riot even asked G2A to remove helpful tools for players such as game guides."
G2A is now seeking feedback from esports fans on how the ban will impact them. "Tell us your feelings, and we will try in whatever way we can to make things better," G2A esports manager Josh Cabrera said. Based on Riot's language in the email notifying G2A of the ban, however, it doesn't sound like it has much room to maneuver.
"I can find no other option than to officially instruct our League Operations team to revoke G2A's approval as an official sponsor for LCS teams," Riot's developer relations manager wrote. "This decision, however, is final as regards G2A visual sponsorship at Worlds 2015."
The League of Legends 2015 World Championship group stage is underway now. Get the heads-up on who's who in our group stage preview, and follow along with all our eports coverage at PC Gamer Pro.