Our statement regarding our #LeagueOfLegends announcement yesterday
In April 2018 we finally set the long time plan to start talks to form a League of Legends team in motion. Since our organization had no experience with League of Legends, we picked uncontracted, highly recommended players from the Benelux to form our first League of Legends line-up ever.
Last summer the ESL Proximus Championship was announced. Both our CSGO team and our yet to be announced League of Legends team got invited to play the play-ins of the ESL Proximus Championship.
Right after our well-received League of Legends team announcement, rumours that we ‘bend the rules’ to be able to participate in the ESL Proximus Championship started spreading. We never cared to comment on those accusations since we were invited to the ESL Proximus Championship. To make matters worse, one team complained to the organisers of the ESL Proximus Championship, which eventually led to a change of the rules long before the competition started. The new rules asked for a minimum of 40% Belgian and 60% Benelux players. Multiple including final 4 teams benefit from this rule.
Defusekids had great hopes that our LoL team would perform as well as our CSGO team in the last split, but as the season progressed, it became clear that were not: we lacked team chemistry, missed out on key goals and practice (individually and as a team) did not go as well as expected.
We decided that after Tweakers Gaming Live the team, including the (subbed) players, coaches and management, would decide on what’s next. The conclusion, after a disappointing Tweakers Gaming Live, was that the current line-up would not continue, but that all original players would complete the regular season’s matches of both the ESL Proximus Championship and the Kayzr League.
The decision also meant that we had to substitute players and look for another line-up for the next split. Given the strict ESL Proximus Championship and Kayzr League player rules, we failed to contract our preferred players earlier than the end of the ESL Proximus Championship and the ongoing Kayzr League season. After a couple of weeks of contacting, testing and practicing with close to 20 players, we had no success and had to think out of the box. Matters became more urgent as one player had the opportunity to work on the next step in his esports career and could no longer play the rest of the season with us.
All of that resulted in yesterday’s announcement. Thanks to the network that some of our players have, we were able to field a great line-up. Both players are former teammates of our players and want to help a former colleague. Rumours are we pay the substitute players, but we want to deny that as we do not pay the substitute players or make extra costs to get the substitute players to play the ESL Proximus Championship finals. Our line-up change got confirmed by ESL before the announcement and was added to our roster according to all rules set at the beginning of the ESL Proximus Championship season.
Therefore DK regrets that our announcement yesterday resulted in a boycott of the three other ESL Proximus Championship finalists. Neither ESL, the title sponsor or DK were contacted directly by the teams prior to their communication via social media. Yesterday evening a call was set up between ESL, us and the boycotting teams to share their view on the matter. We believe that boycotting what could be the biggest esports event organised in Belgium to date is not the right signal to send to the community, current and potential sponsors and (mainstream) media. Only by collaboration, communication and sharing views we will be able to grow esports in the Benelux.
We do not agree with the rumour that we are 'changing the rules to win the ESL Proximus Championship'. We play fair and according to the rules that are set by ESL. These rules have been around for years and were used multiple times before in the same way by one of the boycotting teams, for example right before the ESL Benelux Summer 2017 finals with a player we are using as a substitute player right now.
We do, however, share the opinion that:
- a team should field players that have played the majority of the league;
- new limits should be set when player sheets and team licenses for playoffs and finals are due;
- Belgian or Benelux players should be preferred over international players;
- the Benelux scene deserves consistency and growth;
Therefore we welcome the initiative of ESL to give an indication on what changes can be expected in the next season regarding rules of the regular season. We also welcome the face-to-face pre- and post-season meetings that ESL is planning to have after the current ESL season.
We hope to have given some insights on why we did what we did. We sincerely believe in sportsmanlike behaviour and hope to see all boycotting teams participate in the ESL Proximus Championship this weekend.