Feb 8 2015 - 6:07 pm

MYM threatened Kori with taking his mother's house

Just days before the start of the League Championship Series, Meet Your Makers found themselves without a mid laner
Richard Lewis
Dot Esports

Just days before the start of the League Championship Series, Meet Your Makers found themselves without a mid laner. Marcin "Kori" Wolski, who turned 18 on Feb. 7, left the team under unclear circumstances. Meet Your Makers went 1-3 in their first four matches with stand-in Marius "Blizer300" Hæsumgaard. Just two weeks after his departure, Wolski returned to the lineup, issuing an apology for his "selfish" behavior and paying a fine levied by the organization against him for breaching his contract.

Many questioned the reasons why the young talent had wanted to leave so suddenly, especially with the season so close, and return just as fast. Now we know why.

Wolski was owed several months of pay from his time last season in Supa Hot Crew, the Daily Dot has learned. Meet Your Makers denies any responsibility for said payments, stating that they were to be handled by AK3 GmbH and their CEO Sascha Ackermann, who owned Supa Hot Crew at the time. But AK3 and Meet Your Makers are inextricably linked: Several prominent former and current Meet Your Makers staff are AK3 employees, including Business Manager Martin Krause, Sales and Marketing Manager Cristian Manea and of course Ackermann himself, who previously held the role of business manager in Meet Your Makers.

While Meet Your Makers maintains it has nothing to do with any of the payment issues from the Supa Hot Crew era, Wolski was not confident about facing similar issues with Meet Your Makers in the future. He also said he was no longer enjoying his time in the gaming house and wanted to leave.

After informing the organization’s manager, Sebastian “Falli” Rotterdam, that he no longer wanted to play, Rotterdam became irate and attempted to intimidate the player in a phone call. Unknown to Rotterdam, Wolski recorded their exchange on his phone. 

During the conversation you can hear Rotterdam say that replacing Wolski will cost "$50,000" per game, that the decision not to play could cost them potential sponsors, that they all run the risk of being fired and, most shockingly, that since Wolski’s mother is the one who signed the contract, Rotterdam would make sure she “would lose the house” she lives in. At various intervals Rotterdam can be heard hitting the walls and doors while he argues with Wolski.

You can listen to the recording here. It was sent in several parts, as Wolski did not want to be detected recording the exchange, so there are some gaps and some audio interference from Wolski’s clothing.

When confronted with the recording, Meet Your Makers CEO Khalid Naim told the Daily Dot the following:

“Concerning this recording I will react and take the necessary steps to avoid this, since something like that is not allowed and we don't tolerate this here.”

Rotterdam himself offered the Daily Dot the following statement, apologizing for his behavior:

“I admit I made a big mistake with saying this to kori. This Situation was crazy.  A Player is leaving the Team one day before LCS starts. I was stressed in this situation and i agree i should not say something like this. I never said such stuff before to a player. I will offer MYM to leave the Organisation and step down from my job.  The MYM Management was not aware of me saying this. I wanted to protect the other players cause the situation was looking bad for them and i made a huge mistake. MYM is not working like that it was me making a big mistake! I would like to Apologize to Kori and his mother at this point. Big Sorry!”

Following this incident Wolski outlined his concerns to Riot’s League Operations Manager Nick Allen in an email. In the message, he tells Allen that he "felt so scared under MYM management," adding "especially after they promised I would lose my house."

A few days prior, Wolski had been in talks with North American organization Roar about joining the team as a top-laner. Wolski had an existing relationship with former Meet Your Makers coach Nick "LS" De Cesare, who's currently working with Roar. The talks were swift and the player was convinced he would be allowed to join the team, who are currently in the North American Challenger league, outside of the LCS.

After flying out to Vancouver, where the organization is based, he learned that he would be prevented from playing with his new team in any official capacity. After Meet Your Makers management contacted Riot Games asserting Wolski had breached his contract, he learned via email that he would not be allowed to play for any other team for the duration of his contract, which was due to expire in January 2016.

Ineligible to play for anyone else, he had no choice but to return to Meet Your Makers. After a conversation held with Meet Your Makers CEO Khalid Naim on the Jan. 30, Wolski learned that he'd be allowed to come back to the starting lineup. 

A Skype log of the conversation sent to the Daily Dot confirmed that the organization “would have prevented him from playing LCS or [Challenger Series] while he had the MYM contract,” and that they "strongly believe that contracts need to be followed." 

“[Wolski’s] was one of the better esports contracts I've seen," Naim said.

He added somewhat cryptically: "Esports has bad people. I’m bad too. But only if people give me reasons."

The conversation points to the player being coached on what to say in his statement and to retract some earlier statements he had made regarding Supa Hot Crew.

“We will find a PR strategy together with Riot to make some statements about you and MYM and what happened,” Naim said. “Maybe we find a way where people don’t think bad about you because if we would post the truth from our side it would be bad and I don’t want that. I want that all think ohhh ok more important is that he is back that’s the message we will do in marketing/PR.”

With these new revelations being brought to light, it's not clear whether Riot will intervene with sanctions against Meet Your Makers.

Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube

Jan 24 2017 - 10:07 pm

Riot plans to test out a 15-minute surrender option—here’s why it’s a good idea

The new feature would have been added already if other things hadn’t gotten in the way, the developer says.
Aaron Mickunas
League of Legends Writer
Image via Riot Games

A 15-minute surrender option is being tested for League of Legends, Riot announced last week. And it's about damn time.

Riot originally planned to have the feature in the game by now, according to Andre ‘Meddler’ van Roon, League’s lead gameplay designer. He mentioned that it would have been tested and implemented already if not for high-priority projects like the new client and matchmaking changes getting in the way.

In a post on Nexus, League’s editorial website, Meddler gave a few details on the upcoming potential feature. At first, it will only be available in one region, although we aren’t sure which region will be selected. It will also function differently from the usual surrender—it will be a unanimous vote, meaning that all teammates would have to agree for it to actually go through. Will this replace the current 20-minute surrender altogether, or will it just be an addition? There aren’t enough details to tell right now, but either way, it would be a change for the better.

Why? Well, the traditional 20-minute surrender has been around since the beginning of the game, and frankly, it’s outdated. Over the years, the average length of games has shortened considerably, and it gets even shorter depending on what rank you are.

More than 42 percent of all solo queue players are in Bronze, and over 36 percent are in Silver, according to League of Graphs, a League statistics website. That means almost 80 percent of all solo queue players in League are in either Bronze or Silver. Want to know the average length of game time amongst those players? About thirty minutes. Higher ranked games are even shorter.

That’s right, most games in League only make it about ten minutes past when players are allowed to surrender, meaning most games are close to ending the normal way right around the same time that they’re even given the chance to give up early. Now, I’m a firm believer in the “Never give up! Never surrender!” policy when it comes to ranked. However, sometimes it’s a better choice to type in the ol’ “/ff.”

If someone was toxic and ended up rage-quitting because they weren’t able to steal the jungler’s Krugs while the jungler was trying to take it, for example, your team is now down a man because that player took it very personally (this surely has never happened to me). Or maybe, just maybe, you are down six towers, an inhib, two dragons, and twenty kills when the clock strikes fifteen minutes. It’s also possible that your top laner went Teemo. All I’m saying is sometimes things are looking just bleak enough to make the strongest-willed player want to throw in the towel.

Adding a 15-minute unanimous surrender option gives a team the possibility of finishing up and starting a new game before the slug-fest goes on long enough to crush their spirit completely. A 20-minute surrender is the only option—even when ranked games now rarely go past 30 minutes. It’s ludicrous, and adding a bit of flexibility here is the right way to go.

Jan 24 2017 - 3:33 pm

How Hauntzer saved TSM

TSM’s top laner stabilized his lane and opened up the map for the team’s first 2017 win.
Xing Li
Dot Esports
Photo via Riot Games

Expectations for TSM are always high. But after dropping a set against a talented Cloud9 squad, the team found itself in trouble against Immortals. That’s when top laner Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell—their most unassuming player—found himself in a position to win the series.

Hauntzer can be easy to overlook. After all, one of his greatest strengths is being a chameleon, in adapting his play style and champion pool to match the needs of his team. But sometimes even chameleons need to stand out. And in the deciding game against Immortals, Hauntzer picked the perfect moment.

After struggling in his first few games, Hauntzer blew open the deciding game.

What happened to Hauntzer?

Hauntzer was a key component as TSM swept through the LCS Summer 2016. Per Oracle’s Elixir, he had the highest creep score (CS) differential at 10 minutes in the entire league. That’s right: The leading laner in NA wasn’t Heo “Huni” Seong-hoon, a primary carry, or Darshan Upadhyaya, a steady split pusher. Hauntzer was able to build leads and absorb pressure while playing a wide variety of champions, from Irelia to Shen to Gnar.

The leads Hauntzer built allowed him to shove and roam for his team while not sacrificing farm. This forced his opponents to choose between CS and teamfights. Building advantages like this takes time and patience. The effects can be overlooked, especially when the other TSM stars are the ones getting kills in teamfights. It’s the perfect role for Hauntzer.

This year, Hauntzer hasn’t had as much success in lane, and it’s hurting his team. The sample size is small, but he’s currently averaging a CS deficit at 10 minutes. That’s given the team fits as it seeks to find the identity it had just a few months ago.

How did Hauntzer turn it around?

Betting big on the top lane

The first sign came in the Game 3 draft. TSM first-picked Maokai for Hauntzer, a no-brainer not because of the priority given to Hauntzer, but because of how broken Maokai is with the Courage of Colossus mastery. The treant’s ability to lock down a target with a point-and-click ability while gaining a huge shield makes him extremely powerful in fights.

TSM then picked Ashe for Jason “WildTurtle” Tran but declined to pair him with a matching support. Instead, they grabbed Cassiopeia for star mid laner Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg.

Sensing an opportunity, Immortals (on red side), started banning supports in the second ban phase. Because Immortals also had the next pick, TSM felt forced to counter with a support ban of their own. These bans seemed to target Vincent “Biofrost” Wang’s champion pool, forcing him onto a tank support (Thresh) who could be poked out in lane. With their own support, Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung, comfortable on Morgana, Immortals created a winning duo lane matchup.

It’s extremely hard to win in professional League with more than one losing lane. Bjergsen can usually win his. But with the melee into ranged matchup in the duo lane, it was critical for Hauntzer to come through. He had to at least go even with Lee “Flame” Ho-jong’s Poppy.

He did more than go even.

A familiar pattern

Flame isn’t a perfect player but the guy knows how to CS. And Hauntzer straight bullied him. He went up four CS after two waves. Six after three. Small, steady advantages.

Meanwhile in the bottom half of the map, TSM jungler Dennis “Sveskeren” Johnsen read counterpart Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett’s overtly obvious plays, blowing flashes on nearly everyone. When Dardoch switched focus and roamed to the top, Hauntzer just walked out.

Blowing flashes wouldn’t mean much if TSM couldn’t capitalize. Hauntzer wouldn’t make that mistake. After teleporting back to lane and shoving his minions (up 11 in CS), he roamed with Svenskeren to the mid lane. The resulting dive was clinical: a summoner-less Pobelter was easily killed.

After the kill, Hauntzer walked back to lane and hardly suffered for farm. Meanwhile, Flame’s own roam saw him miss a whole wave of CS. This was the familiar TSM strategy of last year: shove, roam, and force the opponent into bad choices. When Dardoch overextended to kill Svenskeren, Hauntzer was there to earn an assist. When Flame overextended to steal a blue buff, Hauntzer was there to help Bjergsen earn it back.

The coup de grâce came at 10 minutes, where Hauntzer forced Flame to teleport back to lane. Less than two minutes later, when Dardoch ganked the bot lane, Hauntzer’s TP was on time. They won that fight and took first turret. By the time Dardoch finally shut him down, the game had already snowballed too far into TSM’s hands.

TSM needs this from Hauntzer in every game

Going into the season, we thought we knew how TSM would work. Bjergsen is the carry, working with Sevenskeren to control the map. The biggest question mark was the duo lane of Jason “WildTurtle” Tran and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. Hauntzer just needed to be solid. The advantages he carves out are small and take time. Although he plays a role in TSM’s wins, he is rarely assigned credit for victories or blame for losses.

But with WildTurtle struggling in the early game as well, TSM is requiring more of Hauntzer. He needs to have an early impact in every game for them to reach their potential. The urgency is heightened with the current crop of top lane talent, including formidable international stars like Jang "Looper" Hyeong-seok, Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, and of course, Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong.

Hauntzer may not be the most talented top laner in the region. But he is exactly the player that TSM needs.