TSM and their underfire president Aileena "Leena" Xu just can't stay out of trouble.
During a broadcast of Doublelift's League of Legends solo queue play, a telephone conversation between Leena and an unknown party could be detected in the background. Leena was heard to say: "It's not up to me, for example, no one wants to pick up Dardoch, that's not my fault."
"It's not up to me, for example, no-one wants to pick up Dardoch, that's not my fault" was overheard. I've made sure to boost the audio so you can hear it clearly. pic.twitter.com/fGfIHTNbmH— George Geddes (@GeorgeCGed) May 11, 2020
The leaked conversation seemed to indicate that TSM's jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett was being shopped around by TSM, and as per Leena, there were few offers. Immediately after he realised the conversation had been effectively leaked, Doublelift ended the stream and deleted his VOD. However, recordings of the conversation quickly spread across Twitter.
After a critical leak by the team president, Dardoch became the new face of TSM drama. (Picture: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
In the hours following, many were quick to criticise Doublelift, TSM, and Leena for the breach. It was seen a clear example of the issues raised by observers over the controversial Doublelift trade that saw him depart Team Liquid for TSM, an organisation of which his girlfriend, Leena, is currently president.
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The leak all but proves without a doubt that Doublelift is privy to private knowledge about negotiations with other teams and player contracts - a grave conflict of interest for someone who is both an active player, and vice president of the North American LCS Players Association. An association which would be the primary body to seek help for Dardoch following the leak.
im not even trolling i wanna see what darshan bjergsen and doublelift as heads of the player union come up with— Michael Santana (@Imaqtpielol) May 11, 2020
But most of all, this is a hugely damaging incident for Dardoch. The player's ability has been drastically affected by the leak with his ability to negotiate hamstrung and his leverage all but gone.
Initially, TSM President Leena took to Reddit to defend herself, blaming the leak on settings which had changed on OBS, a streaming software, on Doublelift's laptop. She also explained that she'd made important calls while Doublelift was streaming before, and this hadn't been an issue.
She doesn’t get it, holy fuckhttps://t.co/0TEUiyDcXXpic.twitter.com/1N8XLvUVwj— Groundless Gull (@Seagull_No1_Fan) May 11, 2020
Later, Leena released an official statement hours after the fact, denying it was an attempt "to drag a player publicly".
Apology to our community and Josh— Leena Xu (@leena_xu) May 12, 2020
The statement called it a "lapse in judgement," and acknowledged that the leak was "not fair to Dardoch," but did not explain what further steps would be taken to prevent this kind of issue from happening again.
In the wake of the controversy, there's now definitive proof of a danger posed by Doublelift and his relationship with his current team's president. Sensitive Information has already caused damage to the privacy of players and teams across the league less than a month after initial concerns were raised.
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Many have already called for resignations, fines and more to be levied against TSM. Whatever the next step is though, it will have to be undertaken by either the organisation itself or League organiser Riot Games, who previously saw no issue with the relationship.