TSM GM claims NALCSPA is “picking on” TSM amid NACL withdrawal

TSM logo that appears on their Valorant Challengers team's jerseyTSM

TSM general manager Jeff ‘SuiJeneris’ Chau has spoken out about the criticism levied at the organization following their decision to withdraw from the North American Challengers League (NACL).

The LCS Players Association (NALCSPA) revealed on May 15 that TSM had dropped their Challengers League roster in the aftermath of Riot Games’ decision to remove the mandate that LCS teams must field lineups in the NACL “in an effort to unlock more operational and financial flexibility.”

TSM are yet to formally announce their withdrawal from the NACL, even though, according to the association, over 72 hours have passed since the call was made.

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“They didn’t so much as bother to face the community and announce the end of their NACL program publicly,” the NALCSPA said. “Riot is bending over backwards for the wrong people. Players and fans deserve better than this.”

SuiJeneris was the first TSM executive to speak out on the matter via a post on TSM’s official subreddit.

“Like Travis [Gafford], they seem to like to pick on TSM, too,” he wrote, before addressing NALCSPA executive director Phillip Aram’s recent interview. “The YouTube video interview was also very anti-Riot when Riot is listening and trying to work with teams.

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“But I understand why Phillip is mad. Everyone is hurting, especially the players affected.”

SuiJeneris also challenged the association’s claim that NACL salaries represent on average less than 17% of an LCS organization’s League-based salary costs.

“His quote on LCS payroll compared to % NACL payroll is not accurate anymore, given the changes,” he said. “Salaries have come down, which is not a nice feeling for players making top dollar.”

TSM GM talks esports industry state

SuiJeneris went on to comment on the many challenges facing the esports industry after the economy was hit with rising inflation and interest rate hikes.

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Many organizations, including TSM, have turned to layoffs and other cost-cutting measures in recent months. And according to a recent report from the Sports Business Journal, the North American organization could sell its spot in the LCS and is considering putting the brakes on some of its esports investments.

“Good times were good, like really good (millions of venture dollars and sponsorships flowing in where players benefitted immensely from),” he wrote. “Unfortunately, such good times don’t last forever – when there are peaks, there are valleys.

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“The valley we’re navigating through isn’t easy and esports needs to learn how to survive without venture dollars; however, the business of esports and sustainability will improve coming out of it.”

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