On April 20, the Korea e-Sports Association (KeSPA) announced that it's shortened the tryout period for Team Korea's League of Legends roster that will compete at the Asian Games. The players will be returning home later tonight. KeSPA also responded to some recent criticism about the team's selection process, including the scheduling and location.
Why was the player selection process delayed?
The reason why the player selection process was delayed was due to the changes to Asian Electronic Sports Federation's (AESF) schedule. Because AESF’s due date to submit the final roster had been changed, KeSPA had to request the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee to also change the date they submitted their 10 candidate roster. Therefore, tryouts took place in April.
KeSPA also explained why they announced the 10 player candidates, saying the organization wanted to ensure clarity and fairness in its selection process. In order to do so, they selected the 10 players to provide them with an opportunity to prove themselves in actual practice and also to diversify the evaluation categories with the ultimate goal of creating the best roster possible, hence the tryouts and the camp in Gwangju.
More issues with the tryouts
On why KeSPA didn’t reveal the list of their subcommittee members, KeSPA said, “We wanted to prevent any possible improper solicitation and external pressure, so we decided to reveal the members after the roster’s been finalized. With regards to the player selection schedule, we immediately started talking about the schedule with the LCK teams after we picked who’d lead the team, and held a presentation about our plans with all the teams on April 4.”
All five starting members of T1 made KeSPA’s candidate list. As a result, they had a very hectic schedule with no time to properly rest after their win in the LCK Spring finals. Since MSI 2022 will be taking place in May, the April tryouts put a strain on the players’ schedules. KeSPA explained that they couldn’t wait until after MSI to submit the final roster, and April was the only available month in the 2022 yearly schedule.
KeSPA answers criticism about tryouts scheduled
KeSPA provided a counterstatement to the criticism of how the tryouts were hastily prepared. “The first time we started talking with Riot Korea was in January, and our kickoff meeting with the person in charge at the Gwangju Esports Arena was in late January. We’ve officially started preparing for the tryouts in early March, which is when we got the confirmation from Riot Games. The claim that there was no negotiation with one of the teams for the exhibition is also not true. KeSPA had a discussion with the arbiter on the team, and received an answer from them.”
Lastly, they provided the reason why they chose Gwangju for the tryouts. When scouting different arenas, Gwangju Esports Arena was the first place that they started consulting first, as it was the arena that had the proper space for the players to train and had the most seats for spectators. The negotiations went very well, so they decided on Gwangju without consulting any other arenas in different regions.
KeSPA lastly stated, “In comparison to when esports was just a demonstration event in the 2018 Asian Games, the importance of this year’s Asian Games is night and day. We’re trying to proceed in a fair manner by applying many experts’ opinions and be in accordance with the regulations of the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee. We’d like to apologize to the fans that looked forward to watching the exhibition match, and we’ll make sure to be more careful and fair in finalizing Team Korea’s roster. We will not forget to continue communicating in our process. Thank you.”
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