Last night, Team Coast slipped a post titled “In the Dark of the Night” onto their website, a self-labelled biopic chronicling the alleged poaching of jungler Lucas “Santorin” Larsen by Team SoloMid. The piece was quickly removed from the website, but survived long enough to cause quite a stir—and a copy remains in Google’s Web archive.
It reads like a bad fanfic, starting with a back-and-forth between “Coach Loco” (Team SoloMid coach Yoonsub “Locodoco” Choi) and “Regi” (Team SoloMid owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh) about Team SoloMid’s open jungle spot. The conversation eventually lands on Larsen as the top candidate. Regi contacts Team Coast owner David Slan to make a deal but is rebuffed, leading him to gain Riot Games’ implicit permission to poach Larsen from Coast.
“Contracts of amateur players are not protected under LCS or Riot,” a fictitious version of Riot’s Nick Allen tells Dinh. The piece is hardly subtle in its implications.
Team Coast owner David Slan says the events portrayed in the story couldn’t be further from the truth—the Larsen transfer was by the book.
“This was a win-win for both organizations,” Slan said. “Reginald needed a Jungler who was eligible to play in NA because he didn’t want to lose Lustboy, and Santorin was the best available. We needed a Jungler who could shot-call and was mechanically at the same level as Santorin.”
Team Coast agreed to a buy-out of Larsen’s contract. Team Coast imported European jungler Matt “Impaler” Taylor. Slan called the deal “a little harried” due to the rough schedule, with the Intel Extreme Masters San Jose and the Expansion Tournament on the horizon at the time, but it was a legitimate transfer.
So what’s the deal with the weird post on the team’s official website claiming otherwise, and even a deleted Tweet promoting it?
“Writer with a password goes berserk. Not my view at all,” Slan said. The post lists one Jonathan James as the author, linking to an unused Twitter account with an avatar of a hooded shadowy figure. Slan won’t “throw anyone under the bus” for the situation, only calling the author a “kid.”
It may be going too far to call it a public relations fiasco, but that kind of unprofessionalism by Team Coast, whether on purpose or by accident, doesn’t reflect well on the organization. Still, Slan says he’s on good terms with Dinh and Larsen, saying he’ll always be a “friend of the organization.”
And heck—the transfer worked out perfectly for Team Coast.
The team survived the Expansion Tournament to become one of the 10 teams competing in the 2015 season of the League Championship Series—and new jungler Matt “Impaler” Taylor was their most valuable player.
“Impaler is a lot better than we thought,” Slan said. “And we thought he was really good. He synergizes very well with the rest of the team.”
“Everyone is doing their best to field a winning team, and change is an inevitable part of that process.”
William Turton contributed to this report.
Image via TeamCoastGaming/Facebook