League of Legends

T1 Disables LoL Twitter After Backlash Over LS Controversy

It’s the coaching drama that just won’t die – despite how much T1 would like it to. Storied Korean organisation T1 was today forced to disable its League of Legends Twitter after a wave of backlash against a statement released by the team. Just hours after the squad’s most recent post, Twitter visitors were greeted with news that the account had been disabled.

The page visitors to @T1LoL’s account were greeted with after the deletion

In the statement, the team talked about it’s decisions to educate it’s staff on appropriate ways to use voice chat program Discord. This was due to recent leaks from the program about its future coaches. However, it was the absence of any explicit mention of its most recent coaching drama that inflamed tensions.

The statement released by T1 which many felt didn’t go far enough to address harassment by its fans

T1’s refused to properly address the harassment received by Nick “LS” De Cesare after he was rumoured to be the team’s newest coach. Korean T1’s Fans had very vocally complained of the non-Korean’s signing, and it was ultimately announced that Dae-in “Daeny” Yang and Jae-min “Zefa” Lee would instead by taking the coaching roles.

However, the seeming switch in coaching appointment was widely regarded as T1 caving to fan pressure. What’s more, LS had received extreme harassment due to his rumoured coaching position. T1 fans had attempted to contact the prospective coach’s grandmother. Fanatical supporters even went so far as hiring a van to drive around Seoul adorned with slogans complaining about his appointment. LS was ultimately forced to delete his Twitter account and limit his online presence to avoid the continued harassment.

T1’s failure to address the extreme behaviour of their Korean fans in their latest announcement infuriated LS supporters on Twitter. Especially those within the western League of Legends community. After receiving a huge amount of criticism on their post, the organisation opted to delete their Twitter – ironically following in the same footsteps LS was forced to tread.

The deletion leaves T1 League of Legends without it’s most followed social media account just hours before the start of free-agency – and T1 fans in the dark during this crucial period. The team will have to rely on others to break the news of it’s signings, another misstep for the organisation.

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League of Legends

LS Will Be T1’s Next Coach But Korean Fans Aren’t Happy

Fans can be relied upon to criticise the signings of players to their teams, but rarely in esports has the signing of a coach created similar controversy. That was until a leak surfaced detailing the potential that Nick “LS” De Cesare could T1’s next coach.

(Image via  Lee “Effort” Sang-ho)

The leak came from a discord message sent to Lee “Effort” Sang-ho, who was streaming at the time. According to the message, LS, alongside former StarCraft 2 pro and current TFT player Choi “Polt” Seong Hun, will join T1 as coaches for the 2021 season. Almost immediately, speculation about this coaching move circulated around Twitter. Some heralded the potential signings as a great move, and others doubting the veracity and quality of the choices.

T1 suffered a humiliating end to their season after a loss to Gen.G in the finals of the Worlds Regional Qualifiers. The loss was especially crushing with rumours of the legendary mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok reportedly considering retirement. Three days later, their coach Kim Jung-su resigned

LS is an experienced analyst, commentator, and League of Legends personality. His career started when he moved to South Korea to pursue a career as a StarCraft pro player. After living with several Korean organizations, LS became focused on LoL, becoming a coach to many pro players. Since then, he’s served as a coach on multiple teams such as Supa Hot Crew, Roar, Gravity Gaming, and bbq Olivers. 

However, despite his laundry list of qualifications, his controversial style of analysis has often drawn the ire of critics. Most recently, they have focused on his overuse of the “Boris” meme (the name of the shopkeeper on Summoners’ Rift) on his stream, and his often off-topic tangents – both staples of his broadcasting and streaming style rather than his analytical ability.

The most vocal critics of LS’s appointment to T1 are Korean fans who see his appointment as inappropriate. Their criticism varies from concerns about his qualifications, to ad hoc attacks. 

The criticism got so bad that this morning T1 issued an official statement on their social media. In it they addressed the concerns from fans, asking them for patience. “We want to reassure our fans that we are working hard to implement a coaching structure that will position us to win”

It’s likely the statement will do little to comfort T1 fans. Many are worried about a formerly world-class team going yet another year without international success. The former Worlds champions have failed to perform to the level which fans have grown accustomed to. Regardless of who ends up as part of T1’s next coach staff going forwards, they’ll be under a microscope for some time. 

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