T1 Apologize for Unmoderated Hate Speech on Discord

by in League of Legends | Nov, 16th 2020

T1, the Korean esports org has, unfortunately, become a home for unmoderated hate speech, in particular, aimed at LCK’s caster Nick “LS” DeCesare. The unfortunate fact about this is that there are now leaked screenshots that are suggesting the moderators were actively prevented from taking down the hateful work by the fanbase. That may be one of the worst things we’ve seen from an org this year. Allowing racism and homophobia to not only show up but actively stop people from removing it disgusting, to say the least.

T1 has released an official statement, where they “sincerely apologize” for the hate speech that has gone down on their channels, but is it enough? T1’s community has on more than one occasion shown itself to be pretty toxic and vile; not just to others, but to the own players they watch. What has T1 said in the wake of this incident?

Will There Be Effort After a Statement Has Been Made?

What was the problem in the first place? What made the T1 community Discord so openly spew hate onto LS? Well, that’s easy. The first is that he’s an American, and the second is that he’s openly gay. The actual guilty party in this situation is hard to pinpoint.

The screenshots in question have shown T1’s management evidence making sure the mods don’t delete the hate speech comments from the Discord. They were monitored by T1’s board to make sure they keep these comments in the open. The T1 staff took away moderators ability to moderate, so they keep both the fans and the board of directors happy.

Phandere, a server moderator, said the mods were treated like “absolute trash” and the response was “god-awful.” Racism and homophobia were going wild on the Discord server, and it was absolutely without question a disgusting thing to see.

The T1 community is abhorrent in how they conduct themselves. Not so long ago, fans of T1 rented a billboard truck to drive around Seoul, South Korea, and parked it outside of T1 HQ. This was to protest the rumored signing of LS as a new coach alongside Choi “Polt” Seong Hun. Polt was criticized for being a StarCraft II player, and after today, we certainly see why they don’t like LS. Instead, T1 got former DAMWON coaches Yang “Daeny” Dae-in and Lee “Zefa” Jae-min.

According to T1’s apology/statement, the moderators involved have left/were kicked from the org. Which is weird because the screenshots clearly show they were told to do nothing. How can you throw people under the bus like that? The mods were threatened by the T1 board to do nothing, but they’re the ones that are going to be “re-educated”?

Twitter has also pointed out the words used in the apology between Korean and English are different. Ultimately, all sides of the fandom feel disrespected.

T1 claim that the following steps will be taken:

  • T1’s Discord channel will be temporarily closed until proper guidelines are introduced and staff are re-educated.
  • According to our internal guidelines, moderators involved in the incidents have left the channel and staff have been warned of the mistake.
  • We are going through an internal discussion regarding social media policy and communication guidelines. All T1 staff are involved in the process.

Having to hide and do nothing while hate speech is openly flaunted in the T1 Discord is beyond reproach. Apple-Fanta on Reddit dropped a few links from this debacle. The worst thing about this entire thing, if you ask us, is that the people dropping hate speech ultimately won. They got to have their way, with zero consequences: no chat bans, no removals, nothing. T1 will “look into it” and instead throw the mods out that only wanted to keep the peace.

T1 appears to be saying one thing and doing another. If all of those leaked screenshots are accurate, T1 is okay with hate speech; until it becomes a global discussion. We can only hope that T1 genuinely walk this kind of behavior back and grow. Perhaps the T1 org as a whole can help their community be less toxic and angry.


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