League Of Legends Pro Quits, Burns Every Bridge On His Way Out

League Of Legends Pro Quits, Burns Every Bridge On His Way Out

Burnt out and tired of playing for a losing team, professional League of Legends player Austin “Link” Shin announced last night that he was leaving the game. He did so in a bombastic way: writing an 18-page screed that called out nearly all his former teammates, coaches, and ultimately the game itself.

Link retired from a position one of the five starting players for the North American League team Counter Logic Gaming (CLG). He’d been with the team since December 2012, so he had a lot of history to cover in his closing remarks. Clearly, he also had an axe to grind. The majority of the essay is devoted to breaking down his career in CLG season by season, the team member by team member, hashing out where things went wrong, and what landed them in their current less-than-stellar position closing out the spring split of the North American Championship series tied for 5th place (6th being last place). He bemoaned a lack of teamwork between the members of CLG and overpowered egos that left him feeling disrespected and undervalued.

“I was in a position of power yet I didn’t have the full trust of my team,” Link wrote at one point late in his piece.

His final remarks on his decision to leave professional eSports give a sense of the whole piece’s tone:

so reasons for leaving:

-don’t know if i can give it my 150% next split

-too much work and burden on me and I doubt it’s going to get better

-only wanted to play 1 more split minimum and compete and do well at worlds (ideally win)

^ me being greedy and I recognise a team just doesn’t magically come together and win worlds

-i was promised change and there wasn’t going to be any so well me leaving is pretty much the drastic change. ( a coach doesn’t magically solve all problems i think )

I’m pretty much done with league. Cause NA is terrible and League of Legends is devolving into a game that I don’t even recognise anymore. No one even plays it properly lmao

Beleaguered eSports players stepping away from their game of choice, and airing their dirty laundry while doing so, is nothing new. What made Link’s outro strike a chord with the League of Legends community was the length and candour of his criticism, and the way he singled out his teammate Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng in particular.

“One biggest problem I have is with double and him not playing as a team player,” Link wrote. “I mean he flamed the entire team and blame deflected after playoffs ended. To me that’s the biggest backstab anyone can do. You either lose as a team or you win as a team. You accept your loss and you move forward to figure out what you can improve. To blame your team and say there’s nothing you could have done = telling me you will never trust your teammates.”

“This CLG isn’t a team,” Link concluded. “It’s just five players trying to work together lmao.”

Doublelift is a well-known League of Legends player in his own right who’s gained notoriety over the course of his career for his arrogant behaviour. He’s famous for making claims that, say, he outperformed every other North American player in his position during interviews. Detractors therefore saw Link’s statement as vindication of their worst suspicions: that Doublelift was an egotistical player who worked to the detriment of his team.

Doublelift, for his part, refuted most of Link’s criticisms in a post on his Facebook page.

“A lot of the criticism lacks context, which isn’t something you can easily digest and circlejerk about,” Doublelift wrote. “If I was the aggressive cancer on the team who didn’t trust anyone, I would have kicked one of our incompetent leaders out and taken charge myself.”

“the fuck is this other than a blame deflection,” he added in response to Link’s specific claim that he’d been stabbed in the back (metaphorically).

The two players have since tried to sound a more diplomatic tone, effectively hugging it out over Twitter:

Though many, including fellow League of Legends pro Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera, doubt the sincerity of their messages:

What’s peculiar about Link’s sudden, controversial exit from the League of Legends pro scene is the plethora of negative forces that brought it about. If his account of his time in CLG is even partly true, one has to wonder how tensions were allowed to simmer between top players long enough for them to evolve into mutual animosity — be it personal or professional. Link’s departure from CLG is a grim reminder of how League’s emergent but already enormously popular eSports teams too often often lack responsible forces for proper coaching and management.

You can read Link’s full statement here.


    • Lol…I’m with you mate. I was loving playing GTA online, then some random shot at me, so I shot back…he spent the next 2 hours trying to hunt me down and ruin my game. It was like I had murdered his brother and banged his sister…dude got wayyy too personal. Thank god for the single player elements of most games.

      • This is the MAIN reason i dont like CoD or BF too much. Some people just take stuff way too personal… plus i dont like hearing about my mum was having sex with 11 year olds last night.

      • Yeah, I’m kind of the opposite. Never really shoot back. Usually let the griefer have their 1 kill, but if they kill me again, l’ll call my mechanic and have him deliver (well he used to deliver, now it just pops up) my Stinger GT. Most expensive insurance I’ve found around $10.5k. Then I follow them round smashing into their cars generally antagonising etc till they blow me and my car up. Over and over again. Cost one guy over $400k, before he realised what I was doing.

        I dont care that means 40 deaths for me. I dont care about my k/d ratio. I fire nothing except fireworks and flares. And never at other players.

        But I will cost fucking griefers them GTA$.

        • Yeah, totally hear you man. To be honest, some days that sort of thing is the most fun way to spend time in GTA.

          But I get really pissed off when some f-wit pump actions me in the throat when my character is trying on a new cardie or something.

  • Who cares. League is like Dota on easy mode and yet people are struggling in League. GO figure.

      • You know.. I played dota, then moved to hon and then league of legends and back to dota 2 so I know about all of it. League have the weakest mechanics of all of them. Literally kindergarten for the big boys.

    • I think people get confused the difference between dota and lol.
      One isn’t harder than the other , the entry level difficulty is just different.
      Just because one game is more streamlined than the other doesn’t mean the pros are competing at a lower skill level. I’d even say the lower the complexity of a game (to a degree) , the higher the skill is required between players.

  • I don’t follow the pro LoL or DOTA scene but I’m starting to feel like e-sports is filled with constant drama and isn’t all that professional/mature.

    • I really don’t want to cast stereotypes here…not my style BUT I think there is something to be said about a group of people who get to this calibre of gaming. Perhaps their social skills have not had a chance to fully develop due to the fact that a great portion of their lives was spent at a computer, devoted to refining their craft. So when it comes to difficult social situations, the only thing they know is the basics…no conflict resolution, no strong/robust discussions…just drama and name calling.

      Again, really don’t mean to stereotype (although I know it does look that way), and of course there are always exceptions to the rule but this could be a big reason as to why.

    • esports is filled with this drama as it’s still very new and there is a massive medium available to capture every dummy spit. Many professional sportsmen and sportswomen get professional life coaching as part of their ‘package’. Training in how to handle media (digital and otherwise). Some take the training better than others. However, in all I’ve seen, there is none-of-this for esport players. They’re on their own. We will, in time, see this change. The prizepools are going up. And when money goes up, so does coverage and the need for more professionalism. But time is what it needs at the moment. It’s easier if you try your best to ignore the whinging. Watch it for the game it is. Much like you’d watch your favourite football team (or whatever sport you like)

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