Esports & I Moving Forward
We live in the world of the internet. And while some just watch as things go by as a spectator, I made a conscious decision just over a year ago to step inside the world of the internet — specifically League of Legends — and dig in the shit.
A year ago today, I broke news about Marcin “Kori” Wolski, then mid laner for League team MeetYourMakers, running away from Europe and moving to North America to play with Team Roar. Many did not know who Roar was (aside from association with Nick “LS” De Cesare and Indianna “Froskurinn” Black) and some had no idea who I was.
As you can imagine, I faced harsh ridicule for being a new face in the community and reporting something that at the time, seemed pretty farfetched.
As most of us know, that story turned out to be true. Kori did in fact want to work with Roar, but was barred by Riot Games from doing so due to his outstanding contract with MeetYourMakers. I, as an uninformed and inexperienced journalist, thought the “criticism” (which was really just hate) was just an one-off thing.
Surely, it’d go away.
Here we are a year later, three days ago I report that Joachim “betongJocke” Rasmussen would be joining Giants Gaming. His response? “It’s not true lol” in a now deleted tweet, likely advised by his team that lying about an accurate piece of journalism probably isn’t your best course of action.
But in the muck of it all, I want to address some concerns that have now come in the public sphere and also talk about my mindset in all the madness.
The “William Turton Effect”
If you’ve been in esports for a year or longer, you’re probably familiar with my colleague William Turton. The 18-year-old wonder boy of the Daily Dot is one of the brightest minds I’ve met in tech and hacker-focused journalism. But before he was breaking TIME Magazine’s 30 Most Influential Teens of 2015, William was a young esports journalist.
He did work at several sites in the space. He dealt with the clusterfuck that was CBS Interactive’s onGamers, which later shut down for various reasons, notably a reddit ban which harshly inflicted its traffic.
William joined the Daily Dot after dealing with his own fair mess at onGamers, and quickly established himself as a great esports journalist, second to Richard Lewis in League of Legends and similar to my other colleague Josh Raven.
But as we all know, William left esports after a run-in with MeetYourMakers denying one of his articles (which was later true) and the community witch hunting him. A 17-year-old, at the time, was the victim of persecution by thousands of voices on the internet looking to besmirch his name.
This caused William to leave his post at Daily Dot Esports, and join our politics department. Nearly a year later, William is one of the highlights of the Daily Dot and recently became a full-time employee (much like myself and Josh) to continue his career in our workplace.
Some of the things, however, that are always mentioned to me is: “When are you leaving esports?”, “Why don’t you do what William did?”, etc. My mentor Richard Lewis has speculated that I might leave on public talk shows, with other people behind my back putting an expiration date on what I do. “He’ll be gone before you know it. He won’t last”
The bottom line is: I don’t plan on leaving. As Richard is slowly removing himself from the community (as he has mentioned on Unfiltered and First Blood numerous times, such as last night), I felt obligated to stick in the industry, specifically League.
And while it does suck to write for a community who would rather see me gone than here, I’m quite content with what I do everyday. In fact, I’m really quite happy living in Austin, Texas and working in our brand new esports office with the rest of the Daily Dot Esports team. These people are not only my colleagues, but my friends, and what you see on camera (in our shows) is pretty much what it’s like everyday.
That brings me to my next topic.
A Cry for a Content Ban
When I heard about this and read it (no pun intended,) I couldn’t help but feel like shit for a day. How could a community I write for everyday, both in investigative reporting and feature writing, want me removed for telling the truth?
Furthermore, allegations of me “stealing from reddit” for my information — or things similar — are some of the most ridiculous claims I’ve encountered in my short career in this industry specifically.
Richard Lewis mentioned this on Unfiltered yesterday, which immediately blew up my Twitter mentions, my Twitch whispers, and my Skype notifications, as I was being active in chat at the time.
A content ban similar to his on my work (despite my efforts to not be upset at this community) would ultimately affect my career, yes, but I don’t think it’d make shy away from what I do.
While I know a content ban has definitely been discussed by both redditors and moderators, I don’t find it likely.
In fact, in my latest interactions with the /r/LeagueofLegends mods, they were quite polite about making sure some of my work (notably the ESPN report of Darin, Fionn, and Slasher joining the staff) would stay on the subreddit and abide by their ruleset — aka “related to League of Legends”.
I don’t have an issue with the mods, and I rarely have an issue with individual redditors themselves. It can be annoying to see a lie-based circlejerk about my work, especially considering that I work as hard as I do. But overall, I’ll do something else or talk it out with a friend or colleague and move on in life in a matter of hours.
I’ve even done my best to answer questions using my knowledge in threads, such as the recent discussion of Diamondprox and Edward’s visa issues.
My point is, no matter my relation with the subreddit (or any subreddit for that matter) I highly doubt a content ban is feasible, and I doubt that even if it ever occurred, that it would affect my job. Fact of the matter is, the Daily Dot management and I get along well and that’s what matters.
A content ban wouldn’t change that.
So as always, just want to give everyone an update and squash some concerns and rumors that have been floating around both publicly and behind my back.
Per usual, if you have any questions, want me to read over your work, or just wanna chat, feel more than free to contact me at my personal, business email address: email@example.com.