On Aug 16, an online fan community known as the ‘DWG KIA minor gallery’ released a five-page statement, demanding the DWG KIA management for immediate action. In the statement, the fan community demanded action from the organization for the following: The resignation/replacement of current head coach for DWG KIA’s LoL team, Yang “Daeny” Dae-in, improvement on fan communication & treatment, solution to the poor quality and decreasing quantity of team content, as well as an explanation of the organization’s vision and future direction of team operations.
First, the statement reads that the reason behind the release of this statement is due to the team’s continued declining performance, and the tipping point was after their Q&A session that was held at LoL Park after the team’s loss on Aug 13 against T1. Not only was the session short in time, had few questions, as well as questionable choices on the management’s choice of questions, Daeny ultimately failed to provide clear answers in the team’s direction.
*The original statement is in Korean, translated by the writer of this article*
Resignation/replacement of current head coach, Yang “Daeny” Dae-in
“It’s clear that the direction provided by Daeny only provides confusion to the players’ gameplay. The players have continuously expressed their confusion on their macro, and have yet to see any improvement over the Spring and Summer split. With the team’s color diminished, they finished much lower in the standings in the Summer than Spring; not only has the team shown regression in their performance, head coach Daeny has failed to provide a detailed solution to such regression.”
The statement then reads the four main reasons behind the demand for Daeny’s resignation.
1. The continued nonsensical drafts that left the fans, as well as the experts in the scene unable to understand them.
2. The current direction of the team is contrary to how the other teams play the game, which is the same as how DWG KIA played in the past.
3. Due to the head coach forcing his unique philosophies of the game to the team’s gameplay, the team continued to display disorder in their gameplay, resulting in continued losses.
4. The head coach continued to decline interviews on the matches they lost, which led to the players having to explain why they lost; even in the interviews that he did himself, he shifted all the blame on the players, resulting in mental pressure for the players.
The statement then reads that due to how the team’s coaching staff consists of coach Lee “Zefa” Jae-min and Athletic Director for DWG KIA, Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun, both individuals who the fan community believes to be more than capable, Daeny is more than replaceable. Furthermore, because of how T1 went from fifth place in the Summer split standings with Daeny as head coach for the team in 2021 to runner-up finish and top four finish at Worlds 2021 after he was sacked, they demanded the resignation of the head coach.
Improvement on fan communication & treatment
On the matter, the statement criticized how the team continued to only do the bare minimum in communication withe fans while avoiding the hard-hitting questions from the fans. It reads,
“When DWG KIA won Worlds in 2020, the team only had Facebook and Twitter as fan communication platforms. The management made an effort to improve and fortify the team’s communication channels with the fans by creating a Discord channel back then. However, as time went on, the organization not only avoided answering sensitive questions, they continued to just say whatever they wanted. Despite raising concerns on this matter, the organization continued to show the ‘put out the immediate fire’ stance, which raised the question of whether or not they actually want to communicate with the fans. Thus, there’s no trustworthy communication happening between the organization and the fans.”
On the demand, it reads,
“We demand that the DWG KIA management provides a solution to such a lack of communication, with a detailed plan on how they’ll do so. Furthermore, we demand that they discard the current one-sided form of communication, and that the DWG KIA executives actually answer the questions that the fans have, pool opinions together, and provide the opportunities for mutual communication.”
Solution plan to the poor quality and decreasing quantity of team content
The third demand reads,
“While we understand that due to the nature of esports, the only realistic forms of communications between the players and the fans is through fan meets after the matches and their personal streams. While we understand the fact that streams can be canceled whenever the team has a big match coming up or if the teams are underperforming, if the team continues to underperform like they did during this split that results in the continued cancellation of their streams, then the fans have no choice but to accept it.
What the fans want isn’t just what the players look like after they win. When watching the other underperforming teams stream and make documentaries about their journey, it’s frustrating to hear the management not provide enough explanation on why the team documentary was delayed to next year, as well why the players’ streams have been canceled. With consensus on such frustration, we demand a detailed future plan on the team’s content, rather than a one-sided notice from the management.”
Explanation of the organization’s vision and future direction of team operations.
The final demand reads,
“After DWG KIA won Worlds in 2020, the organization created teams in other esports titles, such as Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG, PUBG-M, as well as VALORANT. As a franchised team in the LCK, it became a team that will have a foreseeable future of at least 10 years.
There is a necessity to provide a long-term future operation plan, as well as the organization’s vision, yet they’ve not provided enough of it to the fans. We demand that the organization provides enough assurance to the fans for their trust and support.”
Earlier this month, a handful of T1 fans sent protest trucks on two different occasions, demanding the resignation of the team’s current coaching staff, head coach Choi “Polt” Seung-hun, and coach Kim “Moment” Ji-hwan. Such extreme actions all started with a similar statement like the one above. With the statement demanding a detailed answer by Aug 19, 6 p.m, how will DWG KIA respond?
DWG KIA is scheduled to face kt Rolster in round 1 of the 2022 LCK Summer playoffs, on Aug 18, 5 p.m [KST].
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