Peter Zhang fired by TSM – Understanding the Controversy

Last week some pretty big news hit League of Legends esports, particularly the TSM team. The news of Zhang “Peter Zhang” Yi being fired was initially pretty vague, but in the days since more details have come out and we’ve gotten a clearer picture of his misconduct within the team.

Most recently, Doublelift has weighed in the controversy. He’s explained in more detail some of the allegations against Peter Zhang, along with some specific examples of what he was up to.

peter Zhang fired TSM

Peter Zhang fired from TSM

The news of the Peter Zhang firing initially broke just last week, but details on why the TSM team had fired him weren’t exactly clear. They were initially very clear that this had nothing to do with match-fixing, TSM initially said:

“We were recently made aware of very serious allegations of conflict of interest and unethical practices against League of Legends coach Peter Zhang. After an initial investigation, we have terminated him effective immediately. We are working with external legal counsel to complete a full investigation.”

The LCS commissioner also added later that the departure didn’t have anything to do with match-fixing. It it was being treated as an internal problem for the team. Peter Zhang treated this fairly seriously, admitting he’s made a mistake and that it was probably a serious enough mistake that he should be released. Initially, we were unclear about what exactly had happened. Since we’ve gotten more details though.

Doublelift Weighs in on Peter Zhang Firing

This week Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng spoke publicly about the peter Zhang firing. He’s given more details beyond the unethical practices previously discussed. The main allegation comes from taking money to get particular players on the roster, and for unclear reasons. Doublelift weighed in during a recent Twitch stream. He said:

“He (Zhang) got multiple players on TSM to send him anywhere between $12K and $25K. And then that same day those players before that wire transfer went through, those players canceled it and saved their money.”

Doublelift further stated:

“He asked me to borrow him $70,000, he said his grandma had cancer and she’s dying in the hospital. He needs to pay the hospital bill which is $70,000, and he doesn’t have the money yet. But he will have the money by the end of the month.”

This is the reasoning for borrowing this money that was given to the player, which TSM has referenced too. However, the player has expressed a bit of doubt about how truthful this was.

Different Reports on What Happened

The player has gone a bit further. He explained in more detail some of the stories heard about the Peter Zhang firing. “Without naming any names, this guy literally asked everyone for money and the story was different every single time.”. He later said he didn’t have details on what did happen but had heard some more worrying explanations.” – I’ve heard some really wild shit about Peter Zhang, like he donates a shit ton of money to girl streamers on Weibo. He goes on Chinese streaming sites and finds attractive girl streamers and donates stupid amounts of money.”

There is an ongoing narrative that Yi used his position in TSM as a leverage to sign Chinese and Taiwanese players, and earn a cut from their salary. There is however no clear proof or a player stepping forward to confirm this.

As for the initial information of him having family related problems and need of serious financing, the available info is pointing that he was in fact in serious need of finance to alleviate a health related matter. The main source of valid information at this point should be Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh (currently playing for Weibo Gaming), but he has not given any official statement yet.

Zhang “Peter Zhang” Yi is currently set to return to China. TSM is rumored to be lawyering up to press charges against their former coach.

We will update our article once more information comes to light. In the end, it is clear that the team has had some major problems in recent months. Hopefully, with Peter Zhang fired, players can move on from recent problems. Although, it does seem like there will be lingering problems and potentially more upheaval on the squad by the time the Summer Split rolls around.