League of Legends caster Nick ‘LS’ De Cesare and members of his family are reportedly being targeted and harassed by angry T1 fans over his potential move away from the LCK broadcast team to become a coach at the organisation.
In recent weeks, a section of T1’s supporters have been extremely vocal about the direction the organisation is going after failing to qualify for LoL Worlds 2020. At the most extreme end of these complaints, death threats have been sent to T1 staff and players, funeral wreaths were posted to its headquarters, and a truck was hired to park outside of its HQ displaying messages expressing their anger.
Now though, things appear to be getting increasingly personal, as two European pro players have come to the defence of LS and confirmed he has become the victim of online harassment from T1 fans – and that his grandmother has been targeted too.
A statement from Fnatic’s toplaner Gabriel ‘Bwipo’ Rau denounces the actions of these T1 fans and rubbishes allegations that LS has previously made racist comments – the main reason for the fans’ anger at his rumoured hiring as head coach.
The Belgian follows this up with further tweets asking the Korean fans to “look into the new T1 and find a reason to support them. They aren’t SKT T1 any longer.”
Yes, if you can’t find a reason to support Fnatic in it’s current iteration because you enjoyed what the org used to stand for, I would rather you support G2.
Much, much rather that, than receive hate for what we are trying to build. 2/2
— Bwipo (@Bwipo) November 8, 2020
Bwipo’s teammate Tim ‘Nemesis’ Lipovšek also voices his support for LS during a Twitch stream, and confirms that the caster’s grandmother was also being “harassed” by angry T1 supporters.
With a legacy as prestigious as T1’s and a legendary player in Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok on its roster, there will always be high expectations. While it is fair to say T1 is currently not performing at the elite level it once was during the glory days of the mid 2010s and the organisation is definitely expanding on the content and entertainment side, the personal attacks are certainly uncalled for.
Earlier this year, T1 CEO Joe Marsh threatened legal action against fans who had been sending death threats to players and staff. He followed through with that threat a few weeks later, but the hostility has only increased since then from this sect of the fanbase.