onGamers News

Lemondogs owner says paperwork was sent in on time, removal from LCS is unfair

Lemondogs owner Daniel Aicardi alleges that he was able to submit the team's paperwork just before the deadline, while Riot Games says the amount of information provided was insufficient.

Editor's Note: There was confusion regarding the following sentence, "Aicardi, NiP Senior Manager Gustav M. 'flabbert' Karto, and NiP Coach Martin 'Deficio' Lynge confirmed to onGamers that a buyout between the teams was in the works for several weeks, and was the reason that Lemondogs had not submitted paperwork to Riot beforehand." Karto was on the person from NiP to talk to onGamers directly. The mistake was due to editing two sentences together. Lynge was addressed in a second, omitted, sentence and was then erroneously included in the sentence above. It has been corrected in the article.

On the morning of January 8th, Riot Games announced a rule change regarding the sale of League of Legends Championship Series team spots in response to increasing speculation that Swedish team Lemondogs would sell their LCS spot to Ninjas in Pyjamas.

Riot Games eSports Manager Nick Allen penned in an announcement on that, after repeated attempts to work with Lemondogs management to finalize their roster, the team would be given a deadline of 11:59 PM CEST to enter their roster officially. Shortly after the deadline passed, Allen announced via Twitter that the team had failed to submit the satisfactory paperwork and subsequently would be replaced in the LCS.

Lemondogs owner Daniel Aicardi told onGamers that he in fact provided Riot paperwork two minutes before the deadline at 11:58 PM CEST. Aicardi admits that his paperwork was incomplete, but that Riot Games Esports Associate Manager Chris Hopper assured him ten minutes prior to the deadline that they would be able to look over the documents and come back to Aicardi with what else was needed.

"I did send some paperwork wrong, but I sent it all within the deadline", Aicardi said. "I asked if this was okay and Chris told me would let me know what updates he would need. I have worked close by deadlines before with Riot when it was with Derek Dennis and there were never problems. After speaking to Chris at 11:46 and 11:48, I was sure it should be alright at 11:58 since there was over 20 papers to go through. It's impossible to do that in just one minute. The whole team was online, and all players parents were still awake just to secure they could be there if something more was needed."

"It is human behavior to miss some things in 25 pages of paperwork (for all 5 players), and it is not human to not let us get an extra 10 minutes to fix what was wrong, especially considering what they told me before the deadline, even if it was only 15 minutes before."

Lemondogs team owner Daniel Aicard

Aicardi and NiP Senior Manager Gustav M. 'flabbert' Karto onfirmed to onGamers that a buyout between the teams was in the works for several weeks, and was the reason that Lemondogs had not submitted paperwork to Riot beforehand. Negotiations had intensified between Lemondogs and Ninjas in Pyjamas in the days prior to the deadline, with Riot Games knowledge that a deal was attempting to be made. Aicardi says that Riot's Hopper called to tell him about the LCS ownership rule change. This unexpected rule forced cancellation of the spot going to NiP, and caused Lemondogs to scramble a full roster in less than a day.

"Because Riot changed the rules, we only had one day to find players, play a couple of scrimmages with different players, and establish a brand new lineup", Aicardi noted. "The players knew we were going to sell the spot, the staff knew and stepped down, players had already stopped playing and joined other teams somewhat. The whole team was messed up. Fights going, three players step down and the other two start trying out other players. That same day we sign three new players and send them all to Riot.

"We still made it. It's not unfair the rule itself was changed, but if they're going to make this huge change, and when they explicitly knew we were going to sell, they should give us longer than a day to fix our lineup. They should not screw us just because the super weekend is around the corner, and because they booked expensive team media who were going to make interviews, photos, and videos with us two days later, so they needed our lineup to be fixed directly."

When pressed for comment, Riot's Nick Allen told onGamers that Lemondogs' documents were drastically incomplete and were incapable of completion in the amount of time Aicardi claims it would have taken.

"We told Lemondogs we would be happy to help review the documents and let him know what is needed, but the deadline still stands", Allen told onGamers. "So turning in the documents 2 minutes before the deadline gave us no time to review and give feedback. Once they were turned in, the documents were incomplete. A required piece of paperwork was blank with a player signature on the bottom. It lacked every piece of information we needed on that document."

Allen continued, "You can't submit blank paperwork and say you've turned in the documents. That was with the expectation that things were mostly complete, and we were taken back to find out that things were drastically incomplete. That was the worst case. There was information missing throughout nearly every document. We thought we would help make minor tweaks, but we were taken back when we saw how incomplete the information was."

Allen says that the Lemondogs organization was given multiple extensions to complete their paperwork, and because of this another extension was impossible.

"We had given LD two extensions on the paperwork", he said. "This was the 3rd deadline we had given, and he still couldn't hit the deadline. So we strictly enforced the 3rd deadline, and the results you see before you."

Aicardi says there is no appeal process for him to submit to. With the events unfolding as they have, the current roster will most likely disband, but he plans on keeping Lemondogs in League of Legends.

"The players already got some offers from the teams in the Coke Zero League and will probably split up. Right now Lemondogs won't recruit a team, but I plan to stay in League of Legends. My thoughts are still the same regarding Riot and LoL. Some decisions could have gone in other ways regarding this situation but overall I only have good memories from LCS and we had a good time over there. Creds [sic] to everyone involved."

Image Credit: ESL Flickr, Lemondogs

13 Comments Refresh
Posted by mezzy

i laught so hard, couldnt even breath for a moment.

what is this? a professional team which deals with 100k+ or is it a small sit-in ... guys pls.

if they want to sell their spot - ok - i dont like it ok - so sell it - but dont wait for the fucking last day.

there would be no rulechange if they would have done it 1.1 and said "sorry we a) cant afford a lol-team or b) we dont like the direction riot is taking lol or c) the team disbanded , but this way , what a fucking mess.

i dont think we will gonna see lemondogs in any major esport title for the next month again - hopefully ...

Posted by Spud

Does onGamers have any info on whether this is this Daniel Aicard's first time running a business? There's no way this guy has run a successful business before.

Nick Allen stated here that documents were given to teams on November 27th. With NiP in talks to buy Lemondogs' spot in the LCS, it seems Aicard did not have a contingency plan. You do not just assume a deal will go through and not have a back up. On top of that, three deadline extensions?! That doesn't happen in the real world. Riot has really shown some leniency, and Aicard could still not get his business in order.

Riot has done nothing unfair, Aicard simply cannot run a business correctly. I really feel bad for the Lemondogs roster, I hope they can find better management in the future.

Posted by KarlMoney

This is going to happen to organizations that are led by kids.

Posted by hebble

@spud We're working on a follow up piece with more on the sale and the background. I don't know anything specific about Aicard's background, but this certainly isn't a flattering portrayal of his acumen. We'll see what all shakes out as we get more details. Hopefully Riot continues to be forthcoming with their take.

Posted by Scatologic

This "manager" hurts my brain. "OMG UNFAIR I WAITED 'TILL 2 MIN BEFORE AND MESSED UP?! WTF RIOT PLS" I promise you ANYTHING that riot gave enough time to properly fill out all paperwork needed. Every other company got theirs done. This is insane, who thought this guy needed to be in charge?

Posted by lemondogspani

Enough said:

[2014-01-08 22:12:27] Chris Hopper RIOT: hey Pani

[2014-01-08 22:12:31] Chris Hopper RIOT: did Nick send you waht you need?

[2014-01-08 22:18:40] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: yes thx

[2014-01-08 22:18:44] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: and what info you need on the subs

(2 hours before the deadline)

[2014-01-08 23:43:14] Chris Hopper RIOT: and you have signed contracts for all of hte players?

[2014-01-08 23:43:29] Chris Hopper RIOT: can you provide those for reference?

[2014-01-08 23:43:42] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: ok

[2014-01-08 23:45:31] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: I send you all now

[2014-01-08 23:45:40] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: then I guess you have to tell me what you need one extra photo on

[2014-01-08 23:45:41] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: etc

[2014-01-08 23:46:57] Chris Hopper RIOT: yes, send it now and ill tell you waht is not acceptable

[2014-01-08 23:47:39] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: do you really need my info on all now now now

[2014-01-08 23:47:42] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: will take 15 min extra

[2014-01-08 23:47:50] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: to just print out all they sent and write my address shit things

[2014-01-08 23:48:11] Chris Hopper RIOT: no. we have a deadline that we've made public.

[2014-01-08 23:48:33] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: I know, I send you all

[2014-01-08 23:48:38] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: but do you need my address and mail and number

[2014-01-08 23:48:39] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: on all???

[2014-01-08 23:48:47] Chris Hopper RIOT: just send it over and ill let you know what i need

[2014-01-08 23:48:54] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: good

[2014-01-08 23:58:45] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: mailed all now

[2014-01-08 23:58:54] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: let me know what updates u need

= Mr Hopper told me it was ok and also told me he should tell me what to add BUT see what happened:

[2014-01-09 00:17:31] Chris Hopper RIOT: do you know Nick Allen, manager of League Ops?

[2014-01-09 00:17:38] Daniel "pani" Aicardi: Yeah

[2014-01-09 00:18:35] Chris Hopper RIOT: based on the documents that were sent, we do not consider them to be completed to our satisfaction. "myw" doesn't even have terms filled in on his summary sheet, which is an incomplete document and is not binding given his signature.

[2014-01-09 00:19:02] Chris Hopper RIOT: As such, we will not be allowing Lemondogs to compete in the LCS.

Posted by Spud

@lemondogspani Unfortunately there is no way to confirm this is truly Daniel Aicard, or a real chat log at all. Even if it did, this still just shows a lack of professionalism and unpreparedness.

Even if a Rioter told you they would assist you with the things you were missing, when you're missing entire pages and the majority of the documents were blank, you cannot expect Riot to bend over backwards when you provide pathetic documentation after your third deadline extension.

Posted by mfetter

Sorry Pani but you've got no sympathy from me man. I'm a graduate student and I wouldn't expect a professor to give me three deadline extensions and then still accept a paper 15 minutes after the third deadline ends.

You weren't writing an essay you were dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars. The players in your roster had their careers on the line. Do what you have to do from here and take it as a harsh lesson. Accept it was your mistake, one hundred percent yours, and I think you can recover. Good luck.

Posted by joke

this is just such a joke. people like this guy make esports look like its just some kind of hobby. just get your shit together and act like a mature human being and dont cry how riot is bullying you.. just swallow your pride and admit that you fucked up! this is the first time riot had to remove a team and from what i know about riot they ALWAYS behave very fair to their players and teams!

and this chat lock.. i really hope its fake if it isnt though, this aicardi guy should really reconsider having any responsibility at all! because if you really are that desperate to get some encouragement on your situation that you post private chat logs you had with rioteers your realiability and decision making lacks logical input!

Posted by BourbonKid

This organisation is a joke. NiP organisation is a joke. The only thing I hope is that we will never seen LD and NiP in LCS anymore and that the players from this roster will all have the chance to play at the level they deserve.

I hope this owner will lost his team, his money and his honor. You don't play with the life dream of five young men without any kind of respect.

The best thing that can actually happens for eSport is that thoose kind of people are grilled and won't be able to have any team in any games anymore.

As a adult who had is dream broken by a dumbass when I was a teen, I cannot support this comportement. I hate thoose organisations.

Edited by unef0is

It makes me smile when people saying that pani don't know how to/can't run a company. If I remember right, he is the owner of biggest eSports Gaming Cafe in Sweden(in my opinion it's the most popular in the world as well, or at least in Europe)

About this case.. pani could do this much more better but if I think this from his side as a manager - this was certainly the stressful aswell. As pani said, they didn't have line-up on time and Riot Games changed rules, so they couldn't sell the spot.

I wish best of luck to the players and organization as well. Hopefully we will Lemondogs in future.

Posted by oqqo

He is/was a manager, not the owner. There's a huge difference.

Posted by BourbonKid

Whatever he did before, the way he works is dumb. How can this guy pay his bills in time, etc.? My God, in my country, if government or whatever gives you 3 deadlines and you cannot respect it... it's tribunal. Players need to change the way eSport works. They need to protect their rights.