League of Legends pro player Triple dropped from TSM following substance abuse allegations

Marv Watson/Riot Games | CLG | TSM

Triple, a veteran League of Legends mid laner set to play for TSM’s NACL team, responded to a series of allegations made by Long, his ex-girlfriend, admitting to many of the allegations made against him. TSM has since parted ways with the mid laner.

2022 has been a rough year for TSM. Between the FTX crisis and their NACL team getting flak for rostering a team made up mostly of veteran players, their recent time in the League of Legends space has been rife with controversy.

Now they’re going to have to switch up their NACL roster again. Stephen ‘Triple’ Li was suddenly dropped by TSM, with very little context given to why they terminated his contract.

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As it’d turn out, Triple’s ex-girlfriend, Long, had a list of allegations against Triple from their time together, the likes of which included allegations that he made death threats against others, abused substances multiple times, and that he cheated on her. Triple’s response made it clear that he had abused illegal substances several times as a pro League of Legends player.

TSM NACL mid laner Triple departs after substance abuse

On December 28, 2022, Long (also known as makrýs) put out a statement about her relationship with Triple, a mid laner from Australia who has been playing League of Legends professionally since 2015.

In her set of allegations, she’d detail her time in a relationship with Triple. Long claimed that Triple was abusing substances when she started dating him. “He was also using drugs, alcohol, and nicotine almost every day. Despite all this, I started a relationship with him.”

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She then claimed that Triple was lying to her about quitting his substance abuse, with it being a repeated problem in their relationship. This, along with allegations that his anger issues impeded his career as a pro player and the well-being of those around him, was the main reason why they’re no longer together.

This document contains a series of Discord messages between her, Steven, and other parties involved when relevant. Her allegations include Triple getting his account banned while at boot camp in Korea, lashing out at his teammates and coaches after roster changes he didn’t like, sending her a picture of him holding a firearm, wanting to “go at 200mph in an intersection and kill 6 people”, and the abuse of alcohol, Adderall, molly, and acid.

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His repeated substance abuse, according to Long, resulted in multiple instances where Triple lost control of himself. One such event involves a party held at her apartment.

“During the split, I hosted a party in my apartment, in which he drank so much he passed out on my bed and vomited everywhere. I ended up having to throw out my sheets, and I had a panic attack because I genuinely could not shake him awake. I had to call a friend to come help me move him to a safe location so he would not choke on his own vomit and we could clean up the apartment.”

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Long also alleged that Triple still had feelings for his ex-girlfriend during their relationship, feelings she encouraged him to tackle head-on. “That night, when we got back, he told me that he might still have a lot of unresolved feelings about his past relationship. I told him that he should go talk to the girl in question to resolve everything, and I was prepared for our relationship to end at that point, even though I was still very much in love with him.”

This would lead to Triple coming back high on molly, according to her. “He left for ‘a change of clothes’, and came back high on molly, and made a lot of false promises to me that I treasured deeply at the time.”

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Long would later find out that Triple was seeing his ex-girlfriend again and that they had been kissing each other according to what she had been told.

This is only a portion of the allegations she made against Triple during their time together, creating an incredibly large case against the pro player with screenshots to back up her claims. However, Long didn’t want Triple’s League of Legends career to end, even after all that.

“I loved Stephen very, very deeply, and I had truly never wished for anyone to succeed the way I wished for him.” She had one final message for Triple at the end of her statement: “Stephen, if for some godforsaken reason you read this, please stop doing drugs. Please get your life together. Please think of someone other than yourself.”

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Triple responds to allegations and confirms substance abuse

While Triple disputed some of the details in what Long posted, he admitted to most of what she alleged against him and gave some insight into where he was emotional during the events that transpired.

His statement starts with Triple talking about his declining career in NA, and the mental toll that took on him through his time as a competitor within the region. He outlined the sacrifices he made as a pro player and some of the emotional highs and lows.

Triple claimed that, at some point, “playing and winning competitions slowly became my only purpose”, which led to him returning to old habits.

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“As the season situation began to worsen, I started reverting back to my habits of taking harder substances on occasion– which I understand is a very temporary and unhealthy way to deal with stress– but at the time, to me, it took the least amount of time to put me in the best position to be ready for the next day.”

Through the response, Triple would admit to multiple instances of substance abuse (whether on purpose or accidental), giving Long panic attacks as a result of his actions, cheating on her, and having many anger-induced outbursts between his time at the Korean boot camp and getting shuffled onto different rosters.

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Triple expressed regret for how he treated Long multiple times in his response while admitting that he made out with his ex-girlfriend when he hadn’t yet broken up with her.

“As detailed in Long’s post, this part is true, and I am extremely disappointed in myself for doing so before breaking things off with Long. I broke up with her that night and did not mention this detail as I assumed that it would just make her feel worse, but in hindsight, this was the most disrespectful thing I could’ve done in the situation, and she deserved to know everything. I’m truly sorry for acting the way I did on this day.”

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According to Triple, this ex broke things off with him 10 days later because she “felt disgusted by everything that happened and no longer wanted to pursue things.”

In regards to the message about wanting to “go at 200mph in an intersection and kill 6 people”, Triple had this to say:

“The part where I mentioned that I wanted to crash into an intersection and kill 6 people was a reference to a nearby incident that showed up on the news at the time. I do not idolize nor want to recreate this in any way and for what it’s worth, have not had a physical altercation with a player. My car only goes up to 120 mph and I have also never been ticketed for speeding or reckless driving.”

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This was followed by Triple disputing the picture of the pistol in hand he sent Long, saying, “The picture that I sent was not one of my hand, and I do not physically own any firearm or deadly weapon.” He then posted two pictures of his hand to prove his claim.

Near the end of his statement, Triple claimed, “I have never bargained or threatened someone with mental health, overdose or suicide to get what I want, and for what it’s worth, I have been clean since signing with TSM and will continue doing so. I firmly believe that considering the past, any progress should be celebrated, not shunned, and I’m willing to buy cups and piss in them to prove that I’m headed in that direction.”

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He then stated that TSM’s “last minute offer” was a chance at redemption and to prove that he could make it as a pro player. He also took sole responsibility for his actions.

“Ultimately, I want to state that at the end of the day, the events that have occurred all tie back to me and I am solely responsible for each and every one of them and I’d like to sincerely apologize to Long for all the mistreatment I put her through. She deserves a lot better than that,” with an end note that says, “Here’s to the 2023 redemption arc”.

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Triple has since been dropped by TSM. While they don’t have a reason for it, it’s safe to assume why they terminated this player’s contract.

Riot Games have yet to take any action toward banning Triple from future competition within League of Legends, so he could, at the time of writing, still compete if he were to find a new team.

Long expressed her thanks for the love and support of those around her, and that she has no interest in discussing the matter further.

There are several allegations both made by Long and responded to by Triple that aren’t detailed here. You can read both of their full statements for additional context.

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