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LoL - From competition to prison: history of the worst crook past on League of Legends

LoL - From competition to prison: history of the worst crook past on League of Legends

Martin Shkreli made history as Pharma Bro, one of the most hated men in American history. However, before committing his outrages, he had founded a League of Legends club and was preparing to access the highest competitions of Riot Games.

LoL - From competition to prison: history of the worst crook past on League of Legends

Second Division organizations in LoL aren't exactly stable institutions. If we take a look at the teams that participated in the League of Legends Super League a few editions ago, we will realize that half have disappeared without a trace. To give an example, out of the eight clubs present during the 2016 Spring Split, five have ceased to exist forever. In this sense and passing the global perspective, it is not difficult to find clubs that leave overnight. There were shortcomings, illegalities and above all a lot of irresponsibility.

Yet in this graveyard of organizations stands a gold-plated, diamond-encrusted tombstone whose epitaph reads " America's Most Hated Man ." Of course, we left the national latitudes to head to the United States and revisit one of the most despicable stories that one day we had the misfortune to cross with the League of Legends competition. The adventure of an unscrupulous rich man who left the organization he founded for a more important reason: he had to serve a seven-year prison sentence.

Martin "Cerebral" Shkreli The wolf of Wall Street in the pharmaceutical business

Martin Shkreli was considered an "immature genius" by journalists. The epitome of the self-made man who, coming from an immigrant family, founded companies when he could barely afford alcohol. At the age of 21 (2004) he founded his first investment funds. A series of companies that have failed resoundingly by taking away the savings of thousands of people who have not understood that in this game, the same people always win. Because everyone may have lost, but he and his partners were starting to accumulate insignificant zeros in their bank accounts.

Martin isn't the only esports club owner to end up in jail. - League of Legends
Martin isn't the only esports club owner to end up in jail.

The truth is that Martin did not know how to work very well and preferred to devote much of his time to hobbies. When he was barely 26 years old (2009), League of Legends was launched. Like many of us, he fell in love with the Riot Games video game, as did the two budding phenoms that accompanied the Riot Games video game. The end of the last decade marks the first boom in content creation and also the start of MOBA competitions. So that you can link the dates to the events, Willyrex uploaded its first video on YouTube in September 2010 and the first Worlds took place in June 2011.

Considering time and money, it's no surprise that Martin wanted to enter both worlds. He opened his own channel very regularly broadcasting live broadcasts or commenting on any topic that came to mind and founded his own esports club . The first steps of the organization were not very important, but after some changes and associations, things changed. The team was renamed Team Imagine and had a big investment to compete to reach the elite at a time when sporting merit still mattered.

The Birth of Pharma Bro, America's Most Hated Man

Team Imagine's time in competitive League of Legends was short, but it was close to success. According to the records, his story boils down to a total of 15 games in the North American Second Division which was enough for him to earn the right to challenge for a spot in the LCS before the 2016 Spring Split . Unfortunately, the club couldn't win the best of five legs. However, he was looking to have some potential with a roster that included well-known players like Steelback , who had just left Fnatic; Mancloud , fresh out of the aforementioned LCS or Moon , who went on to pursue a career in North American competition.

Team Imagine remained at the gates of the LCS - League of Legends
Team Imagine remained at the gates of the LCS

However, the time is up. Although there seemed to be unlimited funds and the organization had a guaranteed place in the second division to try and take over the goal of promotion, Team Imagine disappeared. The sudden abandonment was seen coming a long way and it was that from the end of the aforementioned promotion phase in the LCS until the start of the next, Martin Shkreli became the most disavowed human being in America. Public enemy number one that no one wanted to be around. Until then, he had only made people lose money, but now his attitude was about to cost the lives of thousands of people .

So far, we have several key facts about Martin's life. He was very intelligent, he did not like to work very much and lacked scruples. So his business plan for the new pharmaceutical company he founded was simple, and we turn to a quote from wikipedia: “Obtain licenses for off-patent drugs and re-price them to make extraordinary profits (… ) As the market for off-patent drugs was small and obtaining regulations was very expensive, the company believed that it could obtain a monopoly on the distribution of drugs for which there was no competition and set very high prices”.

To move forward with this plan, Martin Shkreli's company acquired a drug called Deraprim , used to treat toxoplasmosis and malaria. Very important for anyone with these diseases, but especially in patients with HIV. The purchase of the license was made in exchange for 55 million and each tablet was sold for 13.50 dollars. A price which, after the commercial movement, rose to around 740 euros per pill. The total increase was over 5,000% . It was something that, even in the United States, could not be forgiven and could directly cause people to die or go bankrupt.

After his release from prison last May, Martin resumed streaming

A story that has no happy ending

Martin Shkreli, already renamed by the American press Pharma Bro, has become one of the most despicable characters in the history of the country. He added court cases that resulted in the seven-year prison sentence and for which his businesses were defined as a " Ponzi Scheme " in which "every new business was used to pay the crooks who had lost money with the previous". Additionally, because its strategy was to restrict competition in drugs over which it had control, it also lost a lawsuit for circumventing antitrust laws . In this there was no criminal conviction, but there was a fine of 66 million and a temporary ban on working in the pharmaceutical industry.

Currently, the drug in question remains at the same price as that established by Martin. Although crucial and has been defined as “life saving”, a blister pack of 30 pills is sold in the United States for an approximate price of $21,000. One more sentence for a country whose life expectancy in 2019 (before the pandemic) was 78.9 years. Unfortunate statistics if you take into account that it is one of the richest nations in the world and that it surpasses its neighbors. In Canada, people lived an average of 82.05 years and in Cuba, with its economic limitations, 78.8. To some extent, the situation is caused by people like Shkreli, who have no problem marketing the health of their compatriots .

Photo: CNN

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