T1's CEO, Joe Marsh, posted an apology, which was addressed to the T1 fans and Nicholas “LS” De Cesare.
In a Twitlonger, he addressed some of the issues surrounding T1 that caused much chatter and divide in the community. Some of these matters include, T1’s management having higher priorities in marketing over winning and producing results, illegal parking on the handicapped spot at T1’s HQ, and the controversy of LS and Polt on being the new coaching staff for T1’s LoL roster, which stemmed from a private Discord message being leaked on Lee “Effort” Sang-ho’s stream.
In the heat of these issues causing uproar and dissonance in the community, T1 decided to remain silent. However, voices of rage and concern continued to grow, which eventually caused a divide between the Western and the Korean communities. In Joe’s apology, he also addresses his long silence and the poor handling of the problems.
The following is his apology, addressed to the T1 fans and LS.
I owe all of the T1 fans and the League of Legends community an explanation for what has unfolded over the past few weeks. I fully understand and accept that what I have to say might not change your opinion or position, but I want to speak open and honestly. Most importantly, I want to start this by saying I’m sorry.
I want to begin by recognizing that this message is long overdue to our beloved fans and community. Too much time has passed and my silence could be heard in every corner of our community. Many of our fans have supported T1 from the very beginning, putting their unwavering faith in our team. I never meant to be dismissive to those who have been seeking clarity and answers, and I will work to be as transparent as possible when important decisions are being made for the team. To any fan I’ve disappointed, I’m sorry.
Since my very first trip to Seoul, the Korean community has embraced me with open arms and entrusted me to lead their favorite team, T1. And since I have become CEO of T1, the mission always has and always will be the same – to win World Championships. With every decision I’ve made for the organization, this mission has been top of mind. And while I understand that the decisions I make in my position may warrant personal criticism, it pains me to see that our fans and the Korean people as a whole have had to endure unfair generalizations about their culture, morals, and character. It saddens me to see T1, a team that has historically united so many people around the world, turn to hurtful rhetoric that has divided our fandoms in recent weeks. My hope is that we can begin to bridge this gap and build each other up, rather than continue to tear each other apart. The Korea I know and love is supportive, innovative, and welcoming. I’m sorry some of my leadership decisions have caused immense disappointment and I hope to be given the opportunity to make things right.
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.
Our fans’ unwavering support drives our players, coaches and staff every single day. Winning and providing a safe environment for our players is our top priority. We create content for you to provide a window to the team you love so dearly. We take extra precaution to ensure these shoots do not interfere with practice, scrims, or player rest. We schedule shoots well in advance – sometimes months – to ensure we are able to accommodate players’ schedules and keep performance top of mind. We also speak directly with the players to ensure any media obligations do not hinder their ability to do their jobs. I understand that fans were not satisfied with our result made this year. In the coming weeks, I will be meeting with ‘Polt’, ‘Daeny’, and ‘Zefa’ to evaluate the optimal structure moving forward for the team. At the soul of our organization, we are a competitive gaming team – and one that wants to win more than anyone. I apologize if we gave off the impression that we weren’t ever 100% focused on winning.
I would also like to apologize for my failure to address the parking issue at our HQ in a timely and respectful manner. I now realize that my silence on the matter implied that I was supportive of this type of mistake, and my refusal to publicly acknowledge the incident or admit fault caused our fans to lose faith in me and the organization. The company will take extra measures to prevent this from happening again.
To Lee “Effort” Sang-ho and his family – I am truly sorry for not addressing the root cause of the Discord message on your stream at the time of the incident. For final clarity, the issue was caused by an error in our streaming software and I'm sorry he had to publicly endure unfair criticism. T1 has been the only home Effort has known and he has been a valuable and loved member of our organization since 2017. Effort is an amazing player and an even nicer person off the Rift.
Finally, I would like to extend my apologies to “LS” for everything he has had to personally endure these past few weeks. I also want to extend my apologies to LS’ family and friends for their shared pain. I am extremely sorry that T1 fans were being accused of harassing LS’ family and I truly believe that no T1 fan would ever do such a thing. I'd also like to dispel the online community rumor that LS’ Grandma received a threatening package. Together with LS, we have filed a police report to investigate the matter and as the investigation is on-going, there will be no further comment at this time. As I’ve reflected over this time, I realize I failed to publicly defend and protect LS and T1 fans by remaining silent. While my staff and I were working behind the scenes to resolve this matter, I should have spoken publicly sooner. Shortly, LS will personally share his plans. And once again, LS and T1 fans, I’m sorry.
These past few weeks have been a very humbling learning experience for me. I will never claim to have all the right answers, but I will always strive to improve each and every day. My hope is that this is the first step in a long journey to restore any faith the T1 fans have lost in me.
With love and respect,
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports