TSM: Peter Zhang fired due to ‘financial irregularities’, report says
It has been reported that former TSM head coach Zhang “Peter Zhang” Yi was fired on March 19 due to “financial irregularities”, with the allegations charged against him being having an agent-like agreement with Chinese and Taiwanese players that he helped sign the organization with.
It was said that the former coach took a cut from the players for the last few years in exchange for a place on the team. Due to the allegations, it was announced earlier that TSM “terminated him effective immediately”.
“We were recently made aware of very serious allegations of conflict of interest and unethical practices against League of Legends coach Peter Zhang,” TSM announced on March 19.
“After an initial investigation, we have terminated him effective immediately. We are working with external legal counsel to complete a full investigation.”
Zhang denies allegations
Richard Lewis of Dexerto also reported that Zhang owed money to several players and former players of TSM. He denied all allegations, adding that he owed money only to ormer TSM support Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh, who played for the team in 2021 before joining Weibo Gaming prior to this season.
According to Zhang, after SwordArt returned to China to play for Weibo Gaming, he had sold an $80,000 car SwordArt purchased for use during his time in the US. Upon sale, however, he kept the money and refused to give it to SwordArt as he had to pay for his grandmother’s surgery.
“I recognize that keeping the money [from the sold car] was wrong,” Zhang said. “But I was working towards paying that debt and paid half before I was fired. My grandmother’s bill was due at the end of this month and so I wasn’t able to pay both debts.
“I was having a very hard financial time but I will pay back every penny to SwordArT. The other claims against my person are not true. It is common in China for friends and colleagues to loan each other money. I have learned a hard lesson about the cultural differences in America. I will work with Riot in any investigation and have evidence necessary to prove my innocence.”
On March 19, Zhang opened up on his firing from TSM via Discord. He said he was not fired for in-game factors such as match-fixing, which he also had allegedly done. He thanked TSM and the players he worked with. He said he would go back to China while waiting for the results of the investigation. He then left the TSM Discord.
“I won’t do any post and comment about this news,” Zhang started. “This has nothing to be fone with in-game,match-fixing. It’s a very tough lesson that i had to learn. I would like to thank TSM for having me for the past 3 years and I really appreciate them. My last call is with [vice president] Walter [Wang] and he’s nothing but helpful and kind to me.
“I appreciated everyone who worked with me in this org, and hope everyone can move forward with it and keep supporting TSM. My personal plan is back to China and take care of my family while waiting on TSM investigation. Again, I didn’t want to post on Twitter to drag more attention so I’m gonna post here. -since I know you guys care more. And after this, I’m gonna quit this discord.
“Thanks for support and have me #TSMWIN”
Previously on March 18, Head of League of Legends Esports North America and LCS Commissioner Jackie Felling also said that TSM’s firing of Peter Zhang had nothing to do with match-fixing.
“Nothing to do with match-fixing,” Felling said. ” This is an internal team matter. Not making a statement from Riot at all but I don’t want people to think this anything remotely to do with match-fixing or betting which it does not.”