In the wake
of Leena Xu’s leak regarding the contract prospects of TSM jungler Joshua “Dardoch”
Hartnett, as well as multiple discussions about the conflict of interest
between Xu and TSM bot laner Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, TSM owner Andy “Reginald”
Dinh came out with a lengthy statement about everything that’s been happening
with his team in the recent weeks.
Instead of clearing the air, however, Reginald’s statement is just another exercise in PR gibberish, a re-shaping of facts and narratives, and avoiding the crux of the problem, as we break it down below.
“I want to
personally apologize to our community for how we’ve managed the communication
of Dardoch’s transfer,” Reginald begins and already the first sentence contains
dishonesty. Dardoch’s transfer was not communicated, poorly or
otherwise. It was leaked through the incompetent management of TSM’s own
president, directly damaging Dardoch’s off-season prospects and bargaining
position with future teams.
reading directly from Blizzard’s PR guidelines, Reginald offers no concrete
solution and doesn’t mention how and if the responsible parties will be reprimanded.
“We will reflect on our mistakes and make the necessary changes to prevent this
from happening again” is so vague that it could just mean “we will make sure
that Doublelift’s stream doesn’t pick up Leena’s voice from the background, while
she continues to discuss sensitive information about the team in front of him”.
The personal apology part is about as empty as Leena’s “unfortunate mistake honestly” Reddit comment.
On the conflict
of interest between Doublelift and Leena
lot to unpack here, too, and all of it proves Reginald and TSM either do not
understand what a conflict of interest is, are willing to lie about it, or are
willing to ignore the problem, hoping it will go away on its own.
clear, most of Leena’s day-to-day responsibility is the TSM’s expansion into
various games titles (Fortnite, Smash, PuBG, Apex, WoW, Hearthstone, etc.). She
has no decision-making power over our LCS roster, players, or salaries. She
works on business operations and content with the League. All roster decisions
and budgeting are made by our General Manager Parth Naidu and myself.”
All of this is largely irrelevant in regards to the conflict of interest question. There is no “more conflict” or “less conflict” gradient. There either is a conflict, or there isn’t and “most” is not “none and never”. Leena working on business operations with the LCS already confirms that conflict of interest exists, as does the phone call that leaked Dardoch’s situation, where she discusses the state of the League of Legends roster in front of a member of said roster.
opinion as the leader of this organization, there is no financial benefit or
working benefit from their relationship.”
this is a direct opposite of what Doublelift said upon joining TSM, quote:
really awesome that we’re working on the same org. That’s not a conflict of
interest, that’s an alignment of interest. It’s really awesome that I can be in
a relationship with someone who directly benefits from a good performance by
For the sake of brevity, we’ll skip over how having “alignment of interest” does not exclude “conflict of interest”. The two, in fact, always go hand in hand: there is an alignment for the parties that benefit and conflict for everyone else.
of course, both financial and working benefit to TSM spanning from this
relationship, but the real issue that Reginald conveniently forgets to bring up
are the detriments and not the benefits that could stem from the
situation which have been outlined
articles, videos, and
editorials by journalists, including having to deal with potential bad break-up,
encountering roster change issues due to the relationship and, well, a player
and all his viewers becoming privy to a confident information. Doublelift and
Leena living together has already harmed Reginald’s business and it’s just been
two weeks since the transfer.
whether Doublelift is privy to confidential information
position change is not privileged information within our company. Every LCS
player and esports manager at TSM knows of this change. The roster change
decision was made by Parth, our coaching staff, and the players of our last
season’s LCS roster,” Reginald writes.
Here, Reginald conveniently only addresses the Dardoch situation, choosing to ignore any and all privy information that Doublelift could’ve been privy to while he was on Team Liquid. Chances are, of course, that Doublelift had no access to such information prior to joining TSM, but Xu’s well-documented, careless behavior — even after she was warned people can hear her on stream — raises serious doubts. In fact, Leena herself confirmed on Reddit that she’s been working in the presence of Doublelift in the past but “didn’t have many issues” — maybe she meant not many issues were live-streamed to tens of thousands accidentally — meaning Doublelift likely was privy to confidential TSM business information.
Even between just them three, Reginald, Leena, and Doublelift cannot set their stories straight.
Reginald fails to address what makes Xu’s slip up particularly damaging to
Dardoch. It is not that TSM are considering dropping him and finding a new
jungler, which, granted, would not be a privileged information within a League
of Legends roster. It is that there are no teams willing to pick up Dardoch
which is a privileged, confidential information that Doublelift should
not have access to as merely a player within the organization. By issuing this
exact statement, Reginald shows that he either doesn’t understand the issue at
hand, or is attempting to re-shape the facts so that he and TSM can arrive to
an absolvable position.
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