When news of change in esport organsation T1's League of Legends team was leaked, fans reacted angrily to the notion that Nick "LS" De Cesare would become the team's coach.
The anger from fans was real T1 fans hired a van to display protesting messages outside the teams Seoul HQ. Messages were posted to T1's Discord channel and LS was attacked on social media, ultimately forcing him to delete his Twitter. Rumours also swirled that his grandmother had been doxed.
The truck's messages took aim at T1's front office. (Picture: Shakarez)
Joe Marsh, T1's CEO, has now issued a length apology over the numerous controversies that were ignited by those leaked messages.
To @T1LoL fans and @LSXYZ9— Joe Marsh (@JoeMar) November 24, 2020
Recognizing it as "long overdue", Joe apologised for the homophobic and racist messages left by aggrieved fans, aimed at their new potential coach Nick "LS" De Cesare, on the T1 Discord channel.
"I take ownership that a mistake was made and for that I am deeply sorry," Marsh communicated via Twitlonger.
"I know how much these actions hurt our community, and I am working with my team to re-evaluate our community guidelines and processes to ensure we do better."
He also offers apologies to Lee "Effort" Sang-ho the player who "leaked" the potential coaching changes when a Discord message relayed T1's future plans. As T1 has said before, Effort, was not responsible for the leak but instead at fault was the streaming team at T1 and Marsh reaffirms that.
"For final clarity, the issue was caused by an error in our streaming software and I'm sorry he had to publicly endure unfair criticism," wrote Marsh.
On the issue of LS and the hate he has received Marsh takes an appeasing tone, not to LS but to the fans that have been the victims of “unfair generalizations about their cultures, moral, and character”.
It's this statement that shows the stark contrast to the way this story has played out in South Korea, the organisation's home, in contrast to their increasingly worldwide fanbase that saw LS as the victim of targetted harassment.
Marsh also seems to contradict himself by claiming that he wished to dispel the rumour that "LS' Grandma received a threatening package."
Before adding, "together with LS, we have filed a police report to investigate the matter."
LS has lived in South Korea for over nine years and it is where he calls home, and in a video released soon after Marsh's statement, LS revealed that he would be joining T1 as a content creator having been offered the coaching role but, in fact, turning it down.
He also gave his own apology for the defending of Sebastian "Malice" Edholm’s previously made racist remarks and for allowing "misinformation" to propagate about T1's fans.
(Picture: Nick "LS" De Cesare)
The thought that he had endorsed racist views clearly affected LS and its behaviour he describes as "inexcusable."
"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."
LS was also at pains to state that the way T1 fans have been portrayed is not the reality of the situation on the ground.
"I know not all Korean fans are toxic. I know not all Korean fans are bad and I know that it's unfair that.. basically there is blanket statements being made about them and it doesn't make any sense to me because it's obviously not true."
LS also revealed, that contrary to what others may have been thinking, T1's management had been in communication with him since the leak and has been helping him "behind the scenes."
It's clearly a matter LS wants to draw a line under the matter with mistakes being made on both sides.
"T1 is going to enable me to be able to do everything I’ve always wanted to do and more.”