ThePlayersTribune- “I learned that I was getting cut by Team SoloMid by browsing reddit.
I know. It’s the saddest thing ever. In esports you have to get used to a certain amount of chaos and mismanagement. I mean, this industry is so young, and there are so many roster moves every single offseason — and everyone knows that you’re not supposed to take a roster reshuffling personally.
But still, you’d prefer not to learn that you were out of a job from the internet. I woke up, made my way to the League of Legends subreddit as I do almost every day, and there it was at the top of the page: “TSM looking to sign Zven and Mithy.”
Our loss at worlds this year was disappointing, but if I’m being honest, I was expecting us to run back the same roster next year. I immediately grabbed my phone and called Andy Dinh, the owner of TSM and someone I still count as a close friend. I asked, “Is this true?” He gave me the usual careful non-answer: “We’re just exploring our options! Nothing is set in stone yet.”
I saw right through that fluff. I knew that TSM didn’t just wake up one Sunday morning and decide that they were better off without me. This is clearly something they’ve been mulling over for a long time. I thanked Andy, and told him that I needed to figure out what my other options are. There was no way I was gonna go into the next League season without a team. He agreed, and suddenly I was a free agent again.”
Wait, is that disrespectful? Like, are the bowels of Reddit not an acceptable medium by which to deliver bad news in the gaming world? Perhaps I need to educate myself on an increasingly popular online "athletics" and the protocol of it's participants, but - for news the average person doesn't give a shit about - a hard-to-find extension of a difficult-to-explain website seems like the perfect cycle. I didn't even know eSports had rosters or offseasons so I'm not one to call into question someone who feels slighted by how his transaction was communicated to him during his downtime, but wouldn't a private phone call, text, and e-mail seem oddly outdated for those whose competitive oats are sewn via WiFi?
Personally, I think Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng should brush off the relatively public embarrassment, and just start some anonymous thread bashing his former organization like any scorned, deep-internet dwelling technological savant would do. Even pro sports can be the coldest of cutthroat businesses, so I'm not necessarily surprised that emotional detachment is even less likely in leagues in which awkward "face-to-face" interactions can be ceased with the pulling of a plug.