T1 player “Effort” (Riot Games)
Online game League of Legends esports team T1 posted an official apology to its player Lee “Effort” Sang-ho, and European team Fnatic player Gabriel “Bwipo” Rau apologized to both T1 and Effort on Thursday following a series of online controversies surrounding a leak about a potential transfer in the stove league during Effort’s stream.
The controversy started when a private chat between T1 members was shown in Effort’s stream on Nov. 3. The chat implied that ex-StarCraft II player Choi “Polt” Seong Hun would be joining the team as general manager and Nick “LS” De Cesare, a caster for the English-language broadcast of LoL Champions Korea, would be joining as a coach.
Following the leak, some T1 fans expressed anger at LS coming in as a coach partially due to LS having defended former BBQ player “Malice” when LS was BBQ coach last year.
Malice faced allegations of “trolling” -- intentionally riling other users -- as well as making sexual comments about Korean women, which LCK fans criticized.
According to Fnatic player Nemesis, LS received many negative comments from fans, including harassment of his grandmother.
T1 announced Polt as the new general manager for T1 on Nov. 12, without mentioning LS. The following day, T1 announced the appointment of Daeny and Zefa from Damwon Gaming, the 2020 World Championships winner, as the main coach and head coach, respectively.
Then, in the early hours of Thursday, Bwipo discussed LS’ situation and the T1 fans with streamers IWillDominate and Thorin. In the process, Bwipo demanded Effort apologize for leaking the information. Also, Thorin suggested that LS was being attacked by Korean fans because of his sexual orientation.
Bwipo had written a lengthy post on social media on Nov. 9 supporting LS joining T1 and asked the fans to be patient.
On Thursday, T1 posted that the unintentional leak of information was not Effort’s fault.
“We would like to clear up the misunderstanding of the leak on Effort’s computer screen. Effort’s stream was shut off on Oct. 27 but the capture software was not turned off correctly and it recorded all Efforts’ activities after the stream which was uploaded onto the streaming platform,” said T1.
“T1 has apologized to Effort for the inconvenience and the issue was resolved right away,“ it said.
Fnatic player Bwipo (Riot Games)
Bwipo also went on to social media to apologize for criticizing Effort in the stream.
“I was just contacted by some of the T1 management regarding the statement I made on the podcast. I was told that it was a technical issue that he could not have avoided. I’m taking this moment to apologize to Effort and T1 for causing these misunderstandings to get out of hand,” said Bwipo.
However, fans criticized the apology for not addressing other issues, such as not refuting Thorin’s comments or criticizing Korean fans in general.
Bwipo tweets his apology on Thursday. (Twitter)
Later on Thursday, Bwipo posted a lengthy apology in both Korean and English regarding the event.
“This time, I want to do it right,” said Bwipo in his tweet with link (tl.gd/n_1srfb4k) to an apology that addressed many criticism towards him. He mentioned that he will directly contact Effort as well as apologize for his failure to stand up for the Koreans that are not homophobic or racist despite.
Meanwhile, the stove league is currently hot with many big name players going to free agency in the off season. Announcements of new roster changes are being made every day.
By Lim Jang-won (firstname.lastname@example.org