There have been a handful of tremendous stories that have broken in the Esports news, the types that are covered by Richard Lewis or someone of equal caliber. These kinds of stories become infamous, like the WeBuyPower match-fixing scandal, the Syndicate, and Tmartn CSGO gambling scandal, and Overwatch censoring players over the support of the Hong Kong protests to protect its interests in China.
This story, while may not appear to be up to par with the ones above, it is certainly something that could set a bold, and troublesome precedent.
The conflict focuses solely around two figures, the legendary League pro Yilian “Doublelift” Peng, and Aileena “Leena” Xu.
Doublelift had played for Team Liquid for some time during the 2018/2019 seasons but was benched after dealing with personal motivational issues. Regardless of this, he was still a tier-one player, and so was considered to be a valuable trade for the team.
What becomes interesting is that Team Solo Mid, or TSM, were the ones to pick Doublelift up. The president of TSM is Alieena, Doublelift’s girlfriend.
This creates an apparent conflict of interest that starts before the contract was even signed.
With the head of the team being your partner, you would have to assume that some strings were pulled in order to bring Doublelift on board, even if he is a perfectly reasonable player to pick up.
While harmless at this point, it’s what TSM does going forward that is raising a lot of eyebrows.
As president of TSM, Alieena’s primary goal, and responsibility is to protect and prioritize the wellbeing of the TSM company and brand above all else in her professional life. Oftentimes, this role involves making hard choices, like cutting players that aren’t performing. Do you see where we’re going with this?
If Doublelift begins to have motivational issues with regards to playing like he has a proven track record of, is Alieena going to be able to make the decision to bench or trade her boyfriend away for the sake of the company?
In an even worst-case scenario, is Alieena capable of cutting Doublelift from the lineup in the event that he starts playing wrong?
On top of that, there is also the worry with regards to the power that Doublelift now holds in the organization. With his girlfriend running the company, he effectively has free reign of his team, or at the very least, is by far the one with the most pull and power.
The situation is still playing out as of June 2020, so we’re going to have to wait and see what TSM does in response to the criticism that it has rightfully received.
If you are interested in reading more, check out our article on the best League of Legends players: https://www.boostroyal.com/blog/The-Best-League-of-Legends-Players-in-the-World