Korean esports organization T1 confirmed that “measures” such as legal actions are being explored to combat online vitriol against “players, their family and the staff,” the org announced.
This appears to be in direct response to a recent incident involving Faker. The legendary mid laner received a donation alert while streaming, roughly translated to the following: “It’s funny seeing you get demolished with mid Sett LOL what would your grandmother say?”
The donation message was in reference to T1’s LCK 2020 Summer Split first-round playoff loss vs. Afreeca Freecs. Faker was initially benched for the series, but was subbed in for the second game to win with a dominant Twisted Fate performance. There was no fairytale to cap off the series for Faker, however, as his Sett was an inconsequential force in a game three loss.
Faker is notably close with his grandmother, who’s a fervent supporter of his professional career. The comment was condemned in Faker’s chat, but the damage was already done.
T1’s CEO Joe Marsh previously released a statement one month ago to address the issue, saying that while the organization valued the “community’s fandom” and that “criticism comes with the territory of professional gaming,” some fans crossed the line with “violent threats and hate speech.”
“We value our community’s fandom and acknowledge that criticism comes with the territory of professional gaming; however, recent incidences have threatened our team’s health and safety—overstepping the lines of fandom with violent threats and hate speech,” T1 CEO Joe Marsh wrote.
Marsh said if the violent threats and hate speech continue, the organization will take legal measures to put an end to hostility aimed towards players or staff.
T1 isn’t the only LCK organization to issue a statement regarding harassment online. Yesterday, Hanwha Life Esports released a Facebook post calling on fans to “refrain from excessive criticism” that can affect players’ mental health. The team welcomed constructive criticism and encouragement but said it would take “legal measures” against continued excessive harassment.
With the esports scene growing constantly, fans are getting angrier at veteran players for every small mistake. This toxic attitude however isn’t helpful and only damages the mental and psyche of the players involved. They are also humans and are prone to mistakes, however, no one deserves to be insulted for their play, everyone has an off day sometimes. Instead, fans should focus on supporting players in such dire times and ensure they come back stronger.