Team SoloMid have fired their League of Legends coach over “conflict of interest” concerns – but apparently not betting related.

Team SoloMid dropped a bombshell on the League of Legends community earlier today, firing League of Legends coach Peter Zhang.

Why did TSM fire their League of Legends coach?

According to the team, this was done over concerns of conflict of interest and unethical practices, as they noted in the statement released by the team on Friday afternoon.

"We were recently made aware of very serious allegations of conflict of interest against League of Legends coach Peter Zhang," Team SoloMid said in a statement on Twitter. "After an internal investigation, we have terminated him effective immediately. We are working with external legal counsel to complete a full investigation."

The exact cause of their firing is unclear at present. There have been no public reports as to what happened on the team, and Team SoloMid has not replied to requests to disclose the incident to press at this time.

LCS commissioner assures fans that TSM did not match-fix

However, we do know one thing - this was not a competitive integrity issue. At least, it's not one that involved other teams.

"Nothing to do with matchfixing," LCS commissioner Jackie Felling said on Reddit. "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 matchfixing or betting, which it does not."

That Riot is getting out ahead of this is interesting - despite this not being an official statement from the LCS, the commissioner being more of a public face than in the past is a welcome change. However, the situation still was serious enough for Zhang to be publicly trashed by Team SoloMid.

As for Zhang, he made some statements on his Discord account via the TSM discord. Those included:

  • I will write a post later about my situation, but thanks for the journey with everyone
  • Please keep supporting TSM
  • I did some mistake
  • I guess it's bigger enough I got immediate release

TSM's struggles in LCS continue

Team SoloMid has had one of their worst LCS splits ever this Spring. After losing Soren "Bjergsen" Bjerg to Team Liquid in the offseason, TSM went with a mixed roster, with Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and American players.

At present, they sit at a 2-11 record in LCS, far and away the worst team in the league at 10th place. This is the first split they've ever been this low. As recently as last year's summer split, they finished 4th and 3rd place respectively. And in 2020 they were the reigning LCS Summer Split champion. Clearly, Team SoloMid has entered into what sports fans affectionately refer to as a "rebuilding" period. But even TSM can't have seen results quite this low coming.

Their results have not been without consequences in the organization. Assistant coach James "Tonington" Kandel left the organization last month, as well. The organization as a whole has seen a number of shakeups over the last year, losing out on Bjergsen, Leena Xu (formerly General Manager of TSM), as well as former star Peter "Doublelift" Peng.

The latter was quick to trash Team SoloMid over this most recent of moves, and it about sums up the situation.

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