League of Legends casters and analysts have faced backlash over perceived bias at the World Championship.
A back-and-forth has been occurring between Worlds talent and League of Legends fans, with several of the former accused of favoring the North American teams in their analysis.
The sentiment with some fans, which had been growing from the play-in stage through to the main event, seemed to come to a head following a match between G2 Esports and Flash Wolves, in which G2 were victorious.
After the win, however, many European fans were critical of the post-match analysis, which they saw as underplaying G2’s achievement by focusing on Flash Wolves’ shortcomings. Comparatively, they claimed, the accomplishments and virtues of North American teams have received more attention than their EU counterparts.
The backlash was only heightened, however, after commentator Mark ‘MarkZ’ Zimmerman hit back at European fans on talk show Hotline League for their criticism.
“Raz was getting shit in play-ins, he’s apparently an NA-biased caster. Spawn was getting shit, people think he’s NA, even though he’s fucking Australian. Everyone was getting it if you didn’t dick ride European teams…This has been one of the stupidest Worlds I’ve ever seen from the European fans over-reactions to everything.”
Former League of Legend commentator and analyst Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles, who now commentates the Overwatch League, weighed in by recounting his own experience with fan backlash at Worlds.
Seems like the EU fans have been roused for the first time since 2015. Fnatic fans that year were the worst I have ever seen in esports, even though I predicted them to make semifinals that year.— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) October 16, 2018
Multiple death threats, completely irrational assertions, etc.
MarkZ later took to Reddit to clarify his thoughts on the situation, recognizing that the segment relating to G2 and Flash Wolves was flawed in its focus, but maintaining that there had still been unwarranted criticism across the tournament.
“What I DO take issue with from the vocal EU fans on reddit, is that that a lot of them had been calling anything and everything bias since the start of playins. Jatt got it for even offering how C9 can get out of groups . Nearly every day of playins, I would finish the show and there would be tons of decently upvoted comments or threads about how biased everyone was (including Raz & Spawn). These would often get downvoted much later when NA woke up, but it was still a seemingly prevailing sentiment during the EU timezone.”
The League of Legends World Championship is approaching the end of its main group stage, with only one group left to be finalized. This year’s tournament has already provided some of the most surprising results to date, with the most notable undoubtedly being reigning World Champions Gen.G exiting in the group stage.