So these few days, I have been seeing a lot of disparity between Western and Eastern (Korean to be more exact, but possibly including Chinese as well) communities. I was hoping some of the people who usually do the translation work will get the messages across sooner, but it doesn't seem to be the case. I guess everyone is tired of this fiasco, but as a casual fan of T1, I feel like I should try my part to get across what is being published on news outlets in Korea right now on this matter.
This post will consist of 2 parts:
- Official Statement by the T1 fans from SKT Minor Gallery & Weibo (https://sports.news.naver.com/news.nhn?oid=356&aid=0000043653)
- Are T1 fans really "Toxic?" (http://kukinews.com/newsView/kuk202011170356)
The links to the articles are below, just in case if anyone needs the source.
Let me warn you that this is a long, LONG post.
This official statement was sent to T1 and SK Sports and some esports journalists, I believe.
- 1st paragraph is about how for the past 16 years, they have achieved great things with the players' blood and sweat, but now T1 is just a house of cards.
- 2nd paragraph: The hot issue for T1 in summer 2020 was not about their results but on the illegal parking on the handicapped parking lot. The case began circulating in the online communities where a T1 branded car was spotted parking on a parking spot designated for the disabled. (https://www.fmkorea.com/best/2978311069) link for the image. T1 did not take any action on this matter, and that was shown in October from Naver Streetview. (https://gall.dcinside.com/mgallery/board/view/?id=sktt&no=1872342) link for the image. Even if the first offense can be regarded as a mistake, the second offense can only be seen as intentional. Even if fines were paid, this is an act of defying the morality fans expecting from T1. We want to question if T1 has the means to rectify and improve on this matter.
- We are not only angry and disappointed with this matter. After reviewing all official schedules in August, we found out that the players had to shoot for advertisement and other outside events continuously ahead of matches. Any schedules before and after matches will lead to exhaustion and lack of training, which further impacts the team's performance. This needs to be pointed out as the esports team's fundamental is results, and the most significant competitiveness of T1 for the past 16 years has always been the trophies. Is the future of T1 an esports team or an entertainment company?
- Also, a leaked screenshot of a player that Polt as head coach and LS as a coach has been appointed in late October. The head coach nominee had no prior experience as a head coach nor coach and inexperienced in LoL. The coach nominee had a history of player management failure and leadership failure when coaching in another domestic team. His words on social media further question his suitability as a coach. When questioned on these appointments whether they are meant for a team aiming to win trophies, T1 only answered the rumors are not right in the media. However, even with this clear cut evidence, T1 decided to deceive the fandom with temporary measures. Eventually, Polt was appointed as GM even though the initial response was "rumors are not true."
- Concerning this, Nemesis from Fnatic mentioned in his stream saying that he got approval to speak about LS's family is getting harassed because of his appointment by LS himself. Nemesis's mention eventually distorted to "death threats from T1 fans," and people related to this incident did not take any effort to clarify any further. Because of this, the T1 fandom is suffering, and because no action taken by T1 further creates the image of a bad organization that takes into the toxic fandom. In this regard, T1 must take action in finding the truth on this matter. If the death threat is actual, T1 must take immediate action to prevent any potential casualties. However, if the rumor is not true, T1 must take action to vindicate this false accusation.
- A team has no future if they forget about their fans. T1 executives and staff did precisely the opposite of the former. They not only failed to respect the SKT T1 fandom that roots in LCK but condoning social media posts that mock domestic fans who requested the truth. Even in the official Discord, where an admin (TL note: could mean mod) was mocking the whole fandom, T1 took no action on it. Even when Bwipo and other officials (TL note: does not mean Riot officials, but rather people relevant in this scene) were propagating with unconfirmed rumors damaging T1 fandom and T1's reputation, T1 did not take any action on this matter. In this regard, we want T1 to find truths and measures to solve this problem. Truths and lies must be unfolded, and all processes must be explained.
- T1 as an esport team must reconsider its identity and its direction, and for T1 to succeed SKT T1's history, we demand the following:
- Provide an environment for players to develop and focus on achieving results.
- T1 to officially announce the departure of LS, who was supposed to be a coach.
- T1 executives and staff members respect domestic and international T1 Fandom, who has been with SKT T1 for the past 16 years.
- T1 to reopen communication channel to provide a clear stance on the issues mentioned above and plans for the damage control.
16 Nov 2020, SKT Minor Gallery & Weibo T1 Fans.
The news article then contacted T1 on the above statement, and T1 replied, "Currently, we are fully focused on the FA market. We will officially respond once the recruitment and roaster are finalized."
One thing to mention here is that this statement was officially sent in on 17 Nov, one day after T1's social media post on apologizing for the Discord and that they will temporarily freeze their Discord. So, this statement should, technically, have nothing to do with T1 shutting their Twitter, at least to my comprehension on the timeline.
Now I move on to the second article. This article touches on what fans think about Polt and LS's appointment and some quotes from the people from different teams.
I will translate from the article's key content, as the top and bottom parts are more or less redundant.
Through Effort's leak, fans identified Polt and LS were appointed. Even though Polt was a pro gamer in SC2 until 2016, he does not have any experience in LoL. Many fans were worried if he is the right person for a team with 9 LCK titles and 3 Worlds titles.
LS also caused controversies in the past for supporting Malice's racist remarks. LS then distorted the whole issue by saying Malice was harassed because he is a foreigner.
So the whole T1 fans were not convinced of the recruitment decision by T1, and they decided to take action.
They sent a wreath(?) (Not too familiar with this in English, but https://gall.dcinside.com/mgallery/board/view/?id=sktt&no=1875658 hope you get the idea. It says, "Reminiscing our SKT. My Pride. My Youth. My Twenties.") and they also protested by sending a truck/van with subtitles and videos to circulate SKT Tower, which is the parent company of T1.
When this became widely known, the international Lol scene and related people started to condemn T1 fans.
However, T1 fans are saying that the appointment of Polt and LS was just a trigger. Instead, the anger was accumulated over time due to the team's questionable decisions.
The 2020 Spring Season winner lost their form rapidly in summer and eventually failed to enter Worlds. T1 fans pointed the finger to Faker's massive external schedule, which counts about 20 advertisements and media appearances. Such congested scheduled were believed to the reason for poor form.
T1 fan H(28 yrs old) says, "Personally, I was slightly uncomfortable when I first hear LS was coming, but that was still takeable. However, the problem was the way T1 acted. At least if any apologetic statement from T1 about LS's previous controversies were addressed, this matter would not have gotten to this stage."
He continues, "The bigger problem was that the team was losing its identity. No sports team would ever allow their players to shoot for advertisement during the season. It would have been understandable during the off-season, but shouldn't the team go all in for the matches during the season? T1's recent activities looked more like a multi-entertainment company than a professional sports team. Fans liked seeing the different sides of players from various media and advertisements, but ultimately we want players to perform well in their games more than anything."
So how did officials from other teams think on this matter? The interviews by Kukinews found out that they understood T1's point of view but agreed that T1 has valid reasons for such actions.
One official from team A says, "we can relate to the T1 front office. The NA market is bigger, but the base is in Korea, so they are probably having difficulties in choosing which market to please. To be honest, to run a team, it is better to adjust to the NA market. But this time, T1 did go overboard. No other professional teams will not do any commercials during the season. I think there is some fundamental lack of understanding in sports, so the fans took such actions."
Another official from team B said, "Most of the LCK teams are in a system of losing money only, and they require aggressive commercial strategies like T1. Normally, the team does not have to address every single issue being mentioned in the community, but this time T1 fans do have valid claims for their actions. Personally, I don't agree with fans on taking group actions on agree or disagree of appointment of the coaching staff, but if T1 took quick actions and made clear statements, it would not have to lead the fans to do such things."
He added, "Communication is difficult indeed. The appointment of the coaching staff is entirely up to the team. However, the biggest issue was that when the fans questioned it, they did nothing and let their staff mock their fans' official channel without any team's official statement. It further escalates when the staff started posting their personal opinions on their social media." (TL note: This paragraph was challenging to translate, and certain meanings might be lost in translation, so take it as a grain of salt.)
Certain officials anticipate that such group actions taken by the fans will change the esport culture.
This official says, "esports is slowly becoming more professional sports. Similar to the previous Kanavi issue, esport fans are voicing out together against unreasonable matters. As long as it doesn't get out of control, this will further cement a healthy esports environment."
I tried my best to translate the articles as accurately as possible, but I am sure I could have made some mistakes here and there—apologies for any errors ahead. Please feel free to correct me, and if I can, I will edit them. Hopefully, we will see proper translation work to share accurate information on this matter with the Western scene here.
Source: Original link
© Post "News Article about “Official Statement by T1 Fans”, and “Are T1 fans really toxic?”" for game League of Legends.
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