League of legends player Sebastian "Malice" Edholm, former jungler of Challengers Korea team bbq Olivers, recently uploaded a series of tweets regarding the abusive and harmful environment of bbq Olivers. He detailed several instances where he and the rest of his team were emotionally mistreated and neglected, including inappropriate touching, denial of payment, and abusive language.
- Reddit (Link 1, Link 2)
Regarding this issue, bbq Olivers published a rebuttal on Facebook consisting of 11 videos, where their director Seong-chang Song (송성창) examined Malice's tweets sentence by sentence. In the post, bbq Olivers explained that the series of videos consisted of a non-edited response to Malice's tweet, and promised a text summary and an update on subsequent events.
- Facebook (Link – Korean)
As the 11 videos are divided into 10 minute segments, the summary of all of them are as below.
The director states he uploaded the video to address the issues Malice raised as quickly as possible. He apologizes for the late follow-up regarding a different issue this January (probably this one), and says that the management tried to balance internally disciplining the related players with externally protecting them from overt denunciation. However, as Malice has opened up about this first, he feels that the management can be as clear as possible regarding his accusations. One of bbq Olivers' team rules is that they would never say anything negative about current and former players and coaching staff, but he thinks this instance can be an exception, as Malice has raised spurious and malicious claims against the organization. However, bbq Olivers will not address claims made about other players, as that falls under the aforementioned rule. The video then consists of the director translating each sentence of Malice's tweet and rebutting them.
Brief timeline of the events leading up to Malice's tweet
When the team was relegated into Challengers, the management concluded that the team's org was in a rut and decided to start from the ground up, creating a good team in a timeline of 3 years. Malice was one of the players who were selected as part of this effort, and the team also tried out creative drafts and strategies. However, the performance in spring led the team and the players to think that change was still required, and during sessions about how to improve the team, several players expressed a desire to leave the org.
Although these players were still under contract, the org let them go and acquired new players. Malice was one of the players who were conflicted whether to leave or stay, and he requested several individual meetings. The org told him that if he could improve his image and change some parts in his playstyle, he could stay. The new players and coaching staff arrived in May, and bbq Olivers hurriedly prepared for the summer split. Although Malice was initially the starting jungler, his playstyle didn't mesh well with the new players, and he started refusing to practice with them, as he felt that his laners were too bad to enable him. The coaching staff instructed him to individually practice, but Malice refused and played other games during practice sessions without permission, while lashing out at the coaching staff. The org requested the coaching staff to accomodate Malice more, as he was a foreigner. However, the other players and the management viewed Malice's actions as against player contract, and his general image and attitude, such as swearing in the clubhouse resulted in the team's atmosphere visibly wilting.
The org conducted several counseling sessions with Malice, where Malice told the org that he found it difficult to follow the team schedule, as he easily gets bored playing only one game. Malice requested that he be given permission a break to play different games every 3 months, which would help him focus on playing league on stage. Although Malice's request was very unorthodox and actually something that the director had never heard before, he granted Malice's request, and gave him 2 weeks of holiday to play Path of Exile. At this point, Malice had been sentenced community service by Riot, and while the team knew that Malice's actions went above and beyond what Riot charged him with, the org sentenced him with a temporary ban from playing, and let him play Path of Exile while undergoing said ban. bbq Olivers knew that this would hurt the team's performance, as they were initially expecting Malice to start as jungler. However, the org decided to give him one more chance, as they knew that Malice's playstyle required a lot of concentration, and so gave him a separate space to rest and recoup during his ban until he felt that he could rejoin the team.
However, on June 16th, even though Malice was still under the ban, he left the clubhouse without permission, and was also reported for swearing during soloqueue. Swearing during soloqueue is obviously a severe offense, and bbq Olivers felt that this was one of the most important points of Malice that he had to change, as many fans and several communities had requested as much. The org therefore criticized Malice's action, but Malice retorted that it wasn't his fault, insulting Riot and the team, and furthermore demanding that the org fire him or he would leave the team. This was during Malice's contract with the team, and therefore he was issued his pay without delay, but the org opened a disciplinary tribunal regarding this issue. According to the team's rules, Malice was banned from playing for 2 weeks, banned from staying in the clubhouse, told to do community service as requested by Riot, and had his pay reduced. The org informed Malice of this decision in writing, and considering his status as a foreigner, allowed him to remain in the clubhouse. Malice rebelled against this decision, insulted the team again, and reiterated his wish to stop playing.
The org then informed him that independently of the disciplinary notion, the team would go through the process of dropping him from the team, and as he was currently not playing league, restricting him from using the PC issued to him. Malice claimed that the org chased him out of the clubhouse, but he actually went out of his own free will and returned around 11. Remarkably, Malice was found playing TFT on his PC in the morning. As Malice seemed to be aware that he was not following the org's decision, the coaching staff were instructed to exclude him from practice, and although the org reached out to him again, Malice stated that he found a place to stay, and left the team.
The director thinks that organisation has tried to accomodate every rule violation that Malice committed, and Malice's claim that he was thrown out from the clubhouse can be easily rebutted by examining the CCTV recordings in front. bbq Olivers spent the rest of the season without Malice, but when the org contacted Malice to check whether he had followed through Riot's disciplinary actions, Malice did not reply and responded only with complaints. As Malice had left his workplace without permission – an action not only violating player contracts but also laws regarding foreign workers, the org felt a need to take legal action. However, as the contract between Malice and bbq Olivers had not ended, Malice still received his monthly pay in July, and the org also declined to reduce his pay, as they felt this action may help Malice return to the team.
In August, Malice did not return to the team, and the management decided to take legal action against him. While preparing for the summer split and during it, Malice had violated his contract several times and even left his work area, and the org decided to hold his pay for August, and charge him for fees accumulated during that period, including visa charges. However, the org tried one more time to persuade Malice to return. September came, and the org, knowing that reporting Malice for violating his visa requirements would greatly hurt his future as a pro, decided to end the contract without sueing him.
On September the 23rd, the org and Malice mutually agreed to end the contract. Malice promised that he would return to the clubhouse to sign the contract, but he said that he would arrive later due to a sore throat. On October 18th, last Friday, Malice returned to the clubhouse, where he demanded 3 months of pay, or he would recreate the situation that another team was under. The org did not think they should continue to blindly accomodate his requests, and responded that they would take legal action against him, and the pay he did not receive during August and September would only be paid after legal counseling.
Rebuttal of Malice's Tweets
(1) – "Despite asking ~ payments to myself"
Malice had left the team since July, and while he received pay for the month of July, the team is currently charging him for several fees construed due to his behavior in August and September. This decision has been conveyed to Malice. The decision is in writing, and will be opened for viewing later on. The claim of mistreatment is a vicious twist of Malice in order to conflate the issue. The org will rebut any argument he makes for himself, but will not say negative things about the other players Malice mentions, according to team policy.
(2) – "Threats: Team managers ~ in front of all the players"
The CEO mentioned is myself, and this is not true. I am also the director, and as the person leading the company, I do not directly address the players. I go through the coaching staff, and although players can contact members in the management, the communication channel prevents me from addressing players directly. During a group session, although one player said something that angered me, I did not scream, or do any sort of the actions written here. I immediately instructed another employee to continue and left the meeting room, and returned after 15 minutes and explained why I left. This is something that I have trained myself to do since I was in my 20s. Afterwards, I apologized to the player, and continued to conduct the meeting.
(3) – "Untimely payment: 'bbq Olivers' ~ get paid for months"
I thought of which other player could agree to this, and once, a player didn't know which banking account he was getting paid in and thought his pay was delayed. Sometimes, our receipts didn't get acknowledged as expenses and payments were late due to that. However, all players received their months pay even in the month they left, as well as compensations for any work-related expenses if they had receipts for them. Obviously, Malice did not receive pay for August and September, as explained above.
(4) – "Max (ls additional coach) ~ small fee eventually"
I don't think I have to explain things about coach Max, as he hasn't raised the issue directly.
(5) – "Harassment/touching: ~ jacket and passport"
Bringing up other players will not be remarked on, unless said player speaks out in agreement. Manager Ba-reum Yoon isn't part of our company anymore, and to briefly explain about this, there's always some physical contact between players, and between player and coaching staff. Obviously this type of contact can be differently interpreted by the recipient, but confiscating and losing clothes, jacket, and passport is a theft punishable by law, and if Malice is confident about his claim, I urge him to sue whoever he thinks has done it, as passport theft is a great crime. I believe this has never happened, and Korea also has laws regarding slander.
(6) – "Inappropriate support: ~ BBQ house towards the end"
To reiterate, content unrelated to Malice will not be commented on. The PC equipment used in the instance mentions are still being used through summer, and are high-performance workstations.
(7) – "Playing conditions: ~ managers stress and abuse"
I'm not sure what "initially" means, but we pay players at the end of each month, not at the start. At the start of the year, we moved from Ilsan to Ga-pyeong, and as our company's address changed, we needed to find a new executive, and gave the head coach a company card to buy food and equipment. We tried to accomodate employees based on proximity to the new clubhouse. Usually, the executive and team managers took care of the housework. When one manager tried to ask players to help them out, he was told by a player that players should concentrate on playing, and taking care of housework was the managers' role. I obviously didn't force players to help them out, and if players would leave the clubhouse because they were asked to take out the trash, I think that's a contract violation. Players could freely leave the clubhouse to take brief walks or get some takeout, but no mass exodus has ever taken place.
(8) – "BBQ managers/CEO would ~ manipulate them"
This is just a huge blanket accusation, I think I need some concrete examples.
(9) – "BBQ doing practically nothing, ~ most of the time"
As this is also about LS, I won't go into this in depth, but as LS was streaming as well as coaching, he was under a lot of stress, but we at bbq Olivers respect his efforts and are thankful for his great coaching. I won't say more about LS. That the org did practically nothing is absolutely false. We tried everything to accomodate Malice's unique personality, which is not "practically nothing". This whole segment is false.
(10) – "BBQ suspended LS ~ until being told to return"
I just wish Malice only talked about himself. I won't remark on what other players and LS did.
(11) – "BBQ disallowing players ~ talk to ls, etc"
Okay, now he's repeating himself. After the season, the players and the org conducting counseling sessions is something that every team should do. Telling players to stay with the team is unnecessary as the players are under contract. Obviously, if a player wishes to leave the team, the team should accomodate his request, and should talk to the player about his decision. It's how we were able to know Malice wished to leave the team. Statements about LS will not be remarked on, but as soon as we were informed that the players wanted to leave, we let them and officially signed their releases the next day.
(12) – "Computers breaking down, ~ fix current ones"
As I've said earlier, we're still using the computers mentioned without any issue.
(13) – "Our cook at one point, ~ instantly fired for bringing it up"
I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about. The cooks that Malice mentions don't really bring up stuff about playing or computers. They usually focus on what foods players like. I don't know what Malice is basing this on.
(14) – "Players at multiple occasions ~ stressed out around managers"
This is also mentioned previously, I think I've discussed this before. Obviously if this was true, it would be an abnormal situation, and this would be a horrible mistake of mine.
(15) – "BBQ taking months to fix the visa ~ not being able to play"
FYI, a visa doesn't come out after a few days. In order to receive an E6 visa, you need an acknowledgement form and a recommendation from the Department of Culture and Sports, and you have to go physically retrieve the visa from the issuing institution. Complaining because a visa took months instead of days is just inappropriate. About Vietnam, we booked a hotel as close to the airport as possible, gave players a day to relax, and told them to rest as much as they can. I recall that Malice actually went out and met a friend there.
(16) – "One of our players refused ~ ignore me for days on end"
Moving on past the mention of other players, Malice's conflict with the coaching staff, especially about draft, was about how Malice had several picks he wanted to play and was angry that his teammates were unable to match his playstyle. The coaching staff discussed a lot about whether to let the team play around Malice or make Malice play around the team. We tried both strategies at the start of the split, letting Malice pick his pocket picks and then telling him to practice some meta champs. However, Malice refused to practice the meta champs and was absent from practice that day. I think that Malice is twisting facts.
(17) – "BBQ in attempt to manipulate ~ wanted to stay if LS left"
Moving on past the mention of other players, the team didn't have to force the players to remain with the team, as their contracts were set for much longer. On the other hand, we told the players that if they felt the team was holding them down, they were free to request release. When players did ask for release, we immediately released them from their contracts, as we were almost starting the summer split by then and needed to confirm our rosters. Everything Malice wrote is false.
(18) – "Seong allowed players to ~ go and then cut my pay"
Seong here means me. When the players left after spring split, we tried to make the leaving as painless as possible. We thanked all the players, and some even came to me and said they were sorry for leaving. Obviously we prepared papers for the players who were leaving, and Malice and Deus weren't among those. Deus said he wasn't going to leave, so his counseling session took less than a minute. Malice's case was a bit more complicated, as whether the org could accomodate him was an issue as much as his own desires. We requested some changes in his behavior and playstyle as a condition for him to remain, but twisting this into "begging" seems weird. Many fans were clamoring to kick him out, but as Malice was part of our plan to show a creative style, we went out of our way to accomodate his requests. And now we're here.
(19) – "After LS left, ~ went to live with LS"
I won't mention former coaches and players. Malice himself kept staying in the clubhouse without participating in team practices, didn't even play league on the pretext that he needed to rest, and even got a separate space for himself. Saying that he felt trapped is really weird.
(20) – "The coaches felt like ~ leave the team house asap"
Malice returned to the clubhouse and slept in his bed. The next morning, he was found playing TFT.
(21) – "With nowhere to go, ~ abuse i accepted"
At that time, LS was staying in another clubhouse of the org. We told Malice to come back, as we didn't know what he would do outside. Well he returned to the teamhouse, he texted me via Kakaotalk that he would find another place to stay, didn't listen to our requests that he return, and whatever happened to him outside the clubhouse, I feel isn't really under the company's jurisdiction. This is about when Malice left the clubhouse without permission on June 16th. At that time Jamie McDaniel was not managing the team. He was in the US, working on overseas project development. Direct management with Malice was conducted by the manager director. Malice did not participate in team practice in any way while he was outside of the clubhouse. He did not fulfill a single point of his contract.
(22) – "Now, without notification, ~ promises I'm allowed to do so"
This makes no sense at all. We told him to return to the clubhouse after 2 weeks of suspension, which he didn't. Jamie is not the manager director, he was in contact with me due to project development, and he was giving personal advice, not authorizing anything. Having to tell Malice that Jamie isn't in charge of managing anymore isn't necessary, as we already told him that he could contact me through the current manager director. I did not respond to Malice's texts, as I had already told him to contact the manager director, and I was sick of him texting and calling me in the middle of the night ranting about his complaints. Furthermore, Malice had already insulted Riot, the team, and myself several times, and I felt I had no responsibility to personally resolve his issues. I told him to contact me through official channels.
Our team had made plans assuming Malice had done his community service, wrote his apology letter, and returned to practice, but Malice didn't return to the clubhouse, and we had never authorized him to do so. As the period he spent outside areas specified on his contract lengthened, we decided that this was sufficient grounds to sue him for breaking labor laws and took legal advice, but we specified that if we were legally bound to pay him we would. Any pay cuts were not issued.
(23) – "When trying to terminate my contract ~ threatening to sue me"
On September 23rd, Malice contacted us. He didn't reply to our questions about why he didn't return, and said that he would be leaving the team. We told him that his request was granted, and asked him when he would like to visit the clubhouse to sign the release form. He told us he would meet us on October 18th. As I said earlier, the org felt that the matter should now be considered in the light of law, but if the org would be charged with violating foreigner labor laws, the whole league scene would have much more difficulty in receiving foreign players, so to protect players as well as the org, decided to terminate the contract without sueing Malice. The contract, which Malice probably still has, says that despite Malice's actions and the fact that he did not follow the decisions of the disciplinary tribunal, the org will not pursue any further action other than the termination of contract, regardless of fees incrued. Malice says that the dates and actions were misrepresented, but the date is September 23rd, and Malice didn't sign because he said he was sick, and we accomodated his request that he arrive at a later date. I need to confirm whether the manager made him wait until 6/9 p.m., and if it's true, I will instruct the manager director to apologize to Malice. Obviously, if Malice doesn't sign the contract termination notice, we will sue him. Telling Malice that we would sue him is not a threat, it's something that we did because we didn't want to send him a notice afterwards. We asked him for his address and phone number because we needed it to charge him.
To summarize, since after the spring split, Malice steadily reduced any possibility of change in his unseemly conduct. He refused to follow disciplinary action issued by both the team and Riot, insulted both, and although the org tried not to pursue any legal action against him to protect his pro career, instead demanded 3 months of pay, while threatening to pull a "Griffin 2.0". bbq Olivers thought that on this last issue, it would be inappropriate to accomodate his requests, and therefore I have revealed the org's stance on this matter as clearly as possible.
Source: Original link
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