This was no joke, even if public sentiment quickly decried the content piece as a farce of managerial decision making. Earlier today CLG really did post a public video of a meeting between CLG’s current LCS roster and General Manager Daniel “Tafokints” Lee, of Smash Brothers Melee fame, discussing the likely end of the roster in its current guise.
remember kids: deleting it online doesn't always delete it from existence pic.twitter.com/6ZTeYLMHsq— Z (@BepisConsumer) July 12, 2021
While the original tweet has now been deleted, a number of reposts are still circulating, and the video has been widely disseminated. In it, Tafo states “this might be the last time that we have this roster of five playing,” citing poor results in the last week and that players weren’t “clicking,” all while the players remained tellingly silent.
It’s a stark look behind the scenes of ninth-placed CLG, who’ve been struggling to find their footing in the league despite a host of veteran talent. Even so, there have been some sparks of hope in recent weeks, and Tafo acknowledged that changes might have been avoided if the team had performed better this weekend. That in itself is somewhat problematic if roster decisions are truly being made solely off such narrow results-based analysis.
It makes no sense and on top of that the reasoning for wanting to switch things up is result based analysis - whether you go 0-3 or 3-0 shouldn't change the dynamic of the team IMO.— Lucas Larsen (@Santorin) July 12, 2021
Unless your goal is to make people look like shit, probably shouldn't release public videos of private meetings.— Christian Rivera (@IWDominateLoL) July 12, 2021
The public response was as swift as it was disbelieving. Uproar on social media was immediate, with numerous threads appearing on Reddit, and multiple high-profile figures tweeting out against the video. The likes of G2’s Fabian “Grabbz” Lohmann, C9 streamer Christian “IWDominate” Rivera, and LCS analyst and caster Alberto “Crumbz” Rengifo all weighed in to censure CLG for releasing a private and highly personal meeting about people being effectively fired into the public domain for entertainment value… attached to a hashtag and a sponsorship, no less.
fuck it— Mathew Alexander (@xSojin) July 12, 2021
MSG is the biggest problem with CLG
1. Support from MSG is always clunky and never clear
2. Some departments need to be expanded/re-worked to be clear on what they need from them
3. Players in constant fear for their jobs cause MSG one week can just request a roster swap
More tellingly still, former players and staff have added their own voices in displeasure at the situation, most notably ex-CLG coach Matthew “xSojin” Perez and ADC Trevor “Stixxay” Henry. xSojin in particular calls out his own experiences at the organisation, alleging problematic dynamics with the owners of CLG, Madison Square Garden Company.
CLG have since deleted the tweet and released a statement, saying their goal was “to share an authentic moment with our fans and be as transparent as possible leading up to potential changes that may occur this week.”
But while such frank, stark looks behind the scenes of struggling teams has been handled well in the past (look to the now-famous “Breaking Point” documentary released by Team Liquid), it is a fine line to tread in a tasteful manner. This, at least by this author’s measure, was not that.
CLG will have a lot of work to do to repair the damaged trust and reputation caused by this debacle.