At the end of last week, longtime League of Legends pro Diego "Quas" Ruiz was suspended from Team Liquid after "an incident occurred [...] at the Team Liquid HQ in Los Angeles". His sudden departure confused and upset many fans. Today, Quas said that his lifelong "depression and anxiety issues" are the root cause.
"I never spoke out about this but I might as well do it now," Quas wrote in a post on TwitLonger. "I've dealt with depression and anxiety issues growing up since my early teenage years, having a hard time building relationships with people and getting along with others in healthy ways." He said that while he's used video games to help cope with his personal struggles, he recently started acting in "nonconstructive, aggressive and inappropriate ways" in trying to take control of his mental health:
My biggest way to cope with this has been through video games; to me it's been more than just a hobby; I'd describe it as a way of seeking greatness and motivation towards something while staying in a comfort zone. It distracted me from dealing with some of my personal issues, as well as pursuing my own goals in life. My mind was so focused on video games that I was able to get a P-1 Athletic visa and gain recognition as one of the best players in my role. I was given opportunities that were not available in Venezuela and under Team Curse and then Team Liquid was able to compete, earn a good living and have experiences I never thought I would have. The last couple of weeks have been pivotal for my self-development. I started taking responsibility over my depression and frustrations about my personal development thus far in my life. You could call it growing up, whatever it is, it has given me more control of what I want to do moving forward. Unfortunately, this process has not been easy and I've done it in nonconstructive, aggressive and inappropriate ways that led to behaviours that resulted in my suspension from Team Liquid.
"Having just turned 24 I've thought out my options; I've decided to retire from professional gaming and in turn pursue other passions in my life; to also get myself out of the comfort zone I've become accustomed to," Quas concluded. "As far as my future -- I'm still figuring out the details but for now I'm looking to pursue a medical career."
The actions that lead to Quas's suspension remain a mystery, but Team Liquid fans have suspected something was amiss in his personal life for the past few weeks. Much of this suspicion stemmed from a very long and difficult-to-parse post Quas wrote on his public Facebook page at the end of November, which contained some troubling language about trying to cope with and "heal" pain that he and others were feeling:
IN THE LAST 3 days of my life, I've shared, and I've connected with people in ways that I hadn't done, nor had believed possible, I can feel what people try to express myself, anger, fear, pain, doubts, I can compare Something that doesn't sound right to me, and by doing this, I'm forging a relationship indescribable, for which I can listen to the message below the mask, I can spot that emotion. Human beings have things that we want to hide from us, we feel shame about specific things in our lives, we are controlled by certain people, and under the control of other people, razionalisamos the feelings that other express toward us, and vice versa, I'm gonna spend the rest Of my life trying to connect with others and feel these emotions with them, and I hope to help heal your pain, and to heal the people from the pain that I was very present, and I was depressed from these human emotions all my life.
It's good that Quas is taking charge of his life and his mental health like he now sounds like he is, but what exactly brought him to this point is still a concern for the League of Legends eSports community. Much like I said about another distressing high-profile exit by a League pro back in May of this year, "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". Today's new is yet another "grim reminder of how League's emergent but already enormously popular eSports teams too often often lack responsible forces for proper coaching and management".