The story of Kanavi
Kanavi has made his name known tho whole world despite drama around Griffin and his contract.
Many League of Legends fans remember the Griffin drama during Worlds 2019. Griffin fired their coach cvMax just 2 weeks before the Worlds and during the tournament there were more accusations and allegations. Later those allegations resulted in a Riot Games investigation and even criminal investigation in Korea. Griffin was forced to pay 85 000$ fine for illegal contract of Kanavi and their director Cho Guy-Nam is permanently banned for taking part in any business activities related to Riot Games. Originally cvMax was also banned from Riot Games operated esports, but later that ban was lifted since investigation showed that allegations were false. More info about the drama can be found in this theScore Esports video.
This article follows the part of the drama which involved Kanavi. Kanavi joined Griffin in february 2019, after the team joined LCK. Kanavi had a small role in the team and he was acting as a substitute during the spring season. After the spring season things started to happen. Allegedly the Griffin management visited Kanavis parents, since Kanavi was minor, and asked them to sign a new contract for Kanavi. Allegedly they told Kanavi and his parents that it only had small adjustments on it to enable possible loan so Kanavi would get starter position and could get more experience somewhere else. However allegedly the contract had more than small changes in it.
It allowed Griffin to trade Kanavi to any team without consent from the player or his parents. It made Griffins lawyer responsible for Kanavis legal standpoint, instead of his parents.
It changed the dismissal clauses, so Griffin can fire Kanavi if he is hospitalized more than 30 days, he is unreachable or his gameplay is slacking.
So Kanavi was loaned to JD Gaming for summer season with a new contract signed and everything calmed down for a while. During Worlds cvMax and Griffin started their drama and cvMax exposed the Kanavi contract. This exposure led to an investigation and after the investigation Riot Games ruled 85 000$ fine for Griffin and forced them to drop Kanavis contract, making Kanavi a free agent. Not long after this Kanavi made a contract with JD Gaming and left the time with Griffin behind him.
JD Gaming and Kanavi didn't come to the Spring Season as favorites, but soon everyone started to notice this young and upcoming team. At the end of regular season JD Gaming placed second in the league, beating teams like FunPlus Phoenix and Royal Never Give Up. This team continued their winning streak in the playoffs and first dropped defending Worlds champions FunPlus Phoenix in just 3 games. In the finals Top Esports did challenge JD Gaming, but ultimately Kanavi got to celebrate LPL championship for the first time! In less than a year Kanavi had moved from substitute to champion.
It is well known that Chinese teams usually find their best form when Worlds are getting closer and that's why the Summer Season is always harder than a Spring Season. Still JD Gaming was one of the favourites. During the Summer Season the spring finalists cominated. Top Esports won the regular season and JD Gaming placed as second. At the playoffs JDG totally crushed LGD Gaming, but did lose to Top Esports in the finals. First place in spring and second place in summer was enough to secure place in the Worlds as second seed.
When Top Esports and JD Gaming qualified for the Worlds, it made Regional Qualifiers very stacked. Especially when another young team, Suning, took the first spot from Regionals and fighting for last spot is FunPlus Phoenix, Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming. We will know the final team joining JDG in Worlds during this weekend.
In 2019 Kanavi was an outsider in Griffin and a tool to make money for the organization. One year later Kanavi has won one LPL Championship and has qualified for Worlds 2020. Making things even more sweeter, during this year Griffin was dropped out from LCK. JD Gaming is one of the hottest teams in Worlds, so if we are lucky we can see Kanavi lifting the Summoner's Cup in two months! If you want to investigate more about the Kanavi-situation, theScore Esports made a great video about him after the Spring Season.
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