T1 CEO Finally Apologizes to Both Fans and LS, Was it Enough?
A few weeks back, a wave of racist, hateful comments flooded the Discord of global League of Legends favorite, T1. Then, T1 apologized via Twitter, but the CEO of the company remained silent. T1’s been under fire for quite a lot of controversy just in general lately. How T1 has managed the org, having higher priorities than winning (RE: marketing) and this about LS and Polt. The news that the two might be joining the org’s League of Legends coaching staff was not met with praise. Instead, it was met with scorn, racism, and T1 watched the ship burn instead of doing anything to stop it. T1 remained silent while all of this went down, but finally, the T1 CEO, Joe Marsh has apologized.
It’s just a shame it took so long for us to get to this point. Joe Marsh’s apology seems sincere enough at first. One statement in particular really stands out as a damning indictment of T1’s culture. The thought that the higher-ups at T1 wanted to keep the Discord uncensored, even if it meant hate speech was going down was beyond disgusting.
What did Joe Marsh have to say?
“I Am Extremely Sorry That T1 Fans Were Accused of Harassing LS’ Family”
What? Excuse us? The full statement is even worse though. His apology to LS reads like “I’m sorry you feel this way,” and why is that?
“I am extremely sorry that T1 fans were accused of harassing LS’ family and I truly believe that no T1 fan would ever do such a thing.”
Except that they were T1 fans, and they were doing just that. Sure, some of this apology reads well, and he did say that alongside LS, a police report was filed about the alleged package sent to LS’ grandmother. A police report makes it feel like it’s more than just a rumored/debunked threatening package. He’s right to say that he was wrong to publicly defend LS, but he also said he failed to defend the T1 fans. The fans don’t need to defended if they’re spouting racism/homophobia.
It’s important to be able to call out your own community and stand up for what’s right instead of saying “Our fans would never do this”, which implies they aren’t fans of the org or in some way denies culpability. Allowing for this kind of culture to stand in your community is what led to this in the first place. The T1 fans aren’t exactly known for being kind and considerate. It’s what is essentially known as the “No True Scotsman Fallacy”.
No True Scotsman Fallacy
“No true Scotsman, or appeal to purity, is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample.”
You can’t say that someone isn’t a T1 fan because they did something awful. That person is still a fan. This isn’t to say his entire apology felt insincere. He does point out that he admits that some of his leadership decisions have “caused immense disappointment” and hopes to be given a chance to make it right.
In regards to the Discord community controversy, he had this to say:
“To that end, I’d like to apologize for the unacceptable messages that were left on our Discord for far too long. I take ownership that a mistake was made and for that, I am deeply sorry. 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.”
Quite frankly, it all feels a bit “too little, too late”. T1’s CEO apologizes to the fans and LS and highlights many of the things T1 has been called out for as of late. He apologized about the parking issue at their HQ, and to Lee “Effort” Sang-ho and his family.
It’s up to LS whether he accepts the apology, but he likely will. LS is a stand-up guy and one of the nicest people in the League community. T1 has a long way to go to earn the goodwill of the Western fanbase back. You can find the entire Twitlonger here and the fans’ response to it on his Twitter post.
Some say this is “better late than never”, but his apology offers little-to-nothing about what they plan to do about these on-going instances of toxicity in their community. We can only hope that T1 does a great deal to reform their image and how their community in general is managed. It’s going to take some time. We do love T1 as a team, but all of these situations have really been disappointing to see, and that’s putting it mildly.