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Fancy a beer? CLG release sponsored video showing LoL roster being threatened with the sack and it's gone down like a lead balloon

In a display of incredibly poor taste, LCS team CLG released a sponsored video of the struggling LoL team being told “this might be the last time that we have this roster of five playing,” before deleting it after a furious community response,
It was to a mixed reaction of disbelief and disgust that the League of Legends community began asking themselves “did CLG really release a video of the moment they effectively laid off their LCS roster?” A sponsored video posted to their official Twitter account, no less.

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.

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. 

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.

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.”

CLG lol roster video
CLG have apologized for releasing the video in a statement posted to their Twitter. (Picture: CLG)

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.