TSM Fires Peter Zhang as Investigation for 'Unethical Practices' Begins

Zhang "Peter" "Peter Zhang" Yi has been relieved of his head of player development duties by TSM.
Zhang "Peter" "Peter Zhang" Yi has been relieved of his head of player development duties by TSM. / Photo by Paul de Leon/Riot Games

It appears North America will have seen not one, but two controversial coach firings this League Championship Series (LCS) split.

Head of player development and longtime coach Zhang "Peter" "Peter Zhang" Yi has been terminated by TSM, the North American organization announced Friday.

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

Within the hour, LCS Commissioner Jackie Felling replied to a comment in a Reddit thread regarding the news to clarify that it was seemingly not an issue of competitive integrity.

"Nothing to do with matchfixing," 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."

According to screenshots from the TSM Discord, Peter Zhang addressed the situation a bit for the team's most dedicated fans Friday.

"I will write a post later about my situation but thanks for the journey with everyone," Zhang wrote on Discord according to u/pizzamage, "and please keep supporting TSM. I did some mistake and I guess it's bigger enough I got immediate released."

"This has nothing to be done with in-game, match-fixing," Zhang wrote on Discord according to u/Timantha. "It's a very tough lesson that I had to learn. I would like to thank TSM for having me for the past three years and I really appreciated them."

Peter Zhang seemingly went on to mention that his personal plan is to go back to China to take care of his family while awaiting the results of the TSM investigation.

Peter Zhang had been a main fixture of TSM's League of Legends operations in recent years, most notably serving as a coach both at the Academy and LCS level for the organization since November 2018.

The news comes in the midst of what is shaping up to be the worst LCS split in TSM history, with the team currently having a 2-11, 10th place record. The bottom-two LCS finish it's hurtling toward would be a first in TSM history.