T1 & LS respond to League of Legends coach controversy
Both Nick ‘LS’ De Cesare and T1 have responded to the mass backlash against the iconic Korean organization seemingly ignoring LoL fan toxicity.
When Korean League of Legends behemoths T1 by mistake leaked that Nick ‘LS’ De Cesare would be the organization’s new coach, T1 fans went wild.
In a story that has gone viral, die-hard T1 fans have been seen giving LS racial and homophobic abuse online, as well as doxxing his grandmother and sending mysterious packages to her address. For many, T1’s lack of substantial response up until this point has been considered as them condoning the abuse, and the controversy has caused many a fan to stray away from the T1 fold.
So while it’s taken some time, both parties have finally spoken out on the situation in an attempt to clarify what has been happening behind the scenes.
A lengthy apology was released via Twitlonger from CEO Joe Marsh regarding the LS situation on November 24. The document is largely an apology towards the T1 fanbase for not speaking out quicker, and in turn, allowing the fans to be slandered and attacked by the press.
Marsh claims that T1 fans and South Koreans, in general, have been made victims of “unfair generalizations about their cultures, moral, and character” due to being “accused of harassing LS.” Additionally, the apology covers the unacceptable abuse towards LS that had been left on the organization’s discord, apologizing to the fans for any upset these may have caused.
T1 player Lee ‘Effort’ Sang-ho also receives T1’s condolences, as T1 did not come to his defense after the LS news was leaked accidentally on his stream.
However, most League of Legends fans were concerned with LS, who only gets mentioned at the end of the Twitlonger in a paragraph that reads as more interested in appeasing the fans than addressing any abuse and doxxing. While Marsh confirms that a “police report” has been filed regarding the package sent to LS’ mother, there seems to be very little apology directed only to LS.
LS’ video response
In a 14-minute long YouTube video, LS addresses the T1 situation and his future with the organization. While he had initially been chosen to join the T1 content creation team, questions were asked whether or not he would like to move up to the role as a coach.
While expressing that it would be a dream come true, LS clarifies that he was happier with the content role.
He expresses his apologies for any previous support of bbq Olivers’ Sebastian ‘Malice’ Edholm’s racist remarks, noting that he had not seen the messages containing the offensive comments before he endorsed the player. As a man living in South Korea who calls it home, it’s clear LS would never knowingly have participated in defending racism despite T1 fans claiming otherwise.
As for the future, LS has chosen to remain in Korea. He states that “for all the years that teams wanted me to leave Korea and go coach elsewhere or join a different org, or join different teams; one thing’s always remained true and that’s that I love Korea and I don’t want to leave here. T1 is going to enable me to be able to do everything I’ve always wanted to do and more.”
So while this may not be the dramatic response that many fans were hoping for, LS seems prepared for a bright future regardless.