TSM’s Leena calls out Golden Guardians ownership for ‘not running org well’

Jacob Hale
TSM president Leena says Golden Guardians not running org wellInstagram: leena_xu / Golden Guardians

Team SoloMid president Aileena ‘Leena’ Xu has called out the ownership of LCS team Golden Guardians, accusing them of “not running the organization well.”

In 2018, the then-named North American LCS renamed to simply LCS, becoming a franchised league with huge names from across sports and esports buying in.

TSM has long been a household name in esports, but most predominantly in League of Legends, where it made its name. Golden Guardians, however, were new to the scene and owned by the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

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Despite the NBA money behind them, Golden Guardians have failed to make much of a mark on the LCS, and now Leena has had her say.

TSM's Spica in League of Legends LCSRiot Games: Colin Young-Wolff
At the time of writing, TSM are third in the LCS while Golden Guardians are dead last.

During a Doublelift stream, he was asked why a team like the Golden Guardians stay in the LCS — adding that they “don’t have a single fan” — and Leena was happy to offer her thoughts on the matter.

“Basically what happened a couple years ago was gaming as a whole was growing, so people wanted to invest into gaming entities like the LCS,” she said. “So Golden Guardians threw a lot of money and bought an LCS team.”

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She continued: “I don’t want to be mean, but I don’t think they’re running it very well. They want fans, they’re just not doing much to get them.”

Doublelift went on to joke that “that was a nice way to say they suck,” but Leena insisted there’s just different ways of building a fanbase. She referenced 100 Thieves, calling their model “very interesting,” and also said that you can get fans simply by winning.

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Of course, winning hasn’t been too common in the Golden Guardians camp. Their highest LCS placement has been 5-6th during the 2019 and 2020 Spring Splits, and they sit dead last in the standings at the time of writing.

Whether they can turn things around remains to be seen, but there’s certainly still time and, with such a long-term investment, the Guardians could still reach the dizzying heights of the Golden State Warriors one day.

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About The Author

Jacob is Dexerto’s UK Editor and Call of Duty esports specialist. With a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing, he previously worked as an Editor at Ginx TV. Jacob was nominated for Journalist of the Year at the 2023 Esports Awards. Contact: jacob.hale@dexerto.com.