On the 5th of September, Inven KR posted an online article in regards to the foreign teams coming to Korea for boot camp.
It was a short and simple news article and yet, the Korean community left many negative comments about it. All of them were directed towards TSM.
The comments that received the most attention were: "Don't come here TSM - we still remember when you leaked scrims and acted like you did nothing wrong," and "TSM tried to get better Worlds results through boot camp, but ended up creating a mess. I hope they don't come this year; they didn't make it far in the tournament last year anyway..."
Other comments such as: "I hope to never see Weldon ever again," and "All teams are welcome here, even the Chinese teams, but not TSM. Just head straight to China [for Worlds]," were made. Following the article, a post created by an Inven user titled: "I hope our teams refuse to scrim with TSM," became a top post.
It's uncommon for Korean fans to heavily criticize and be unwelcoming to a foreign team - especially since teams such as 'Unicorns of Love' had made many close interactions with the KR fans in the past.
Then why are the KR fans so uptight about TSM? It all began last year. Right before the World Championship, during boot camp, TSM was under suspicion of releasing scrim videos that they had with SKT. Once the facts regarding the leak were released - that it was a hacker's doing and not the team's - the whole incident was wrapped up without much trouble. But Korean fans still blamed TSM for having weak security for something that should have been kept secure.
But what really sparked the flame was TSM's past performance coach, Weldon Green, and his statements. On September of last year, the coaches of SSG, SKT, and ROX were interviewed. And during it, SSG's head coach, Choi, stated, "From seeing the recent incident [scrim leakage], I'm a bit concerned about the confidentiality of our scrims... It's also possible for foreign teams to share scrim information with others from their respective region. It has happened before in other [esports] games."
In response to seeing the article, Green stated on Reddit, "They [Koreans] are very very nationalistic." He also mentioned that Korea's tactic for Worlds is to "pawn off all EU/NA teams on low-ranked Korean teams [during boot camp]," just to get the basic stylistic sense of the other teams.
In regards to the scrim leak incident, Green, at the time, argued: "I mean, it got leaked because we have to come to Korea to train. If we were in NA, we would have full spectator slots (because of Tournament Realm) and staff in-house. Korean advantage extends to not needing to transfer digital data because they LIVE here."
It didn't just end there. During 2016 Worlds, when TSM lost to SSG in the group stages, TSM left the set without shaking hands with SSG, and this made many KR fans upset; as it was common courtesy at the time for teams to shake hands as a show of respect after games - regardless of who had won. Although it was later found that TSM visited the SSG locker room to apologize and shook hands there, the KR fans who had not heard the news were left skeptical.
TSM, in turn, apologized for all the incidents that had happened during their stay in Korea, and they cut ties with Green. The team also emphasized the importance of the boot camp by stating that "training in Korea is extremely beneficial for the team," and that SSG White was their primary scrim partner during 'season 4' throughout Worlds. They were also far from hesitant from thanking the Korean teams for scrimming against them during their stay in Korea.
But many KR fans are still upset, and they have kept their negative feelings towards TSM all this time.
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