My side of the story on Doublelift
I usually don’t want to voice out or talk about events that happened in the past, because I want to put every focus on planning for the future. But there are some unjustified speculations about events that happened in this Spring split, and I wanted to share my perspective and provide some clarification.
For player criticism feedback -
First of all, I am not a type of person who tries to avoid conflict with my players and hold any feedback for them. It’s my job to recognize and solve any conflicts, so we can move on and improve as a team. Every year in Team Liquid, we would hold 1 on 1 meetings with players frequently, to discuss any problems or concerns we would have with the player, set individual goals, give feedback to each other as player and coach on what we can improve on, and talk about anything they have in their mind. Obviously there was a lot of frustration and disappointment on Peter’s attitude this split, and there were a lot of concerns and comments from everyone about the issue. There have been multiple times where we talked with Peter 1on1 and gave him feedback on his motivation issues, expressing his lack of motivation to his teammates and publicly, his bad attitude towards practice, lack of respect towards coach’s feedback, lack of effort put into practice, and many other issues that were causing relationship problems with his teammates and staff. These conversations happened before the split and during the split, and there is no world where we would let these things go unaddressed. These issues were not getting fixed even after the conversations we had with Peter, until Peter became sick and was benched.
One of the biggest issues we had as a team this split was not being on the same play in game, and not being on the same page strategically. The problem can stem from communication issues, people having different ideas of what’s most optimal, and differences in priority. These are what scrims and reviews are for, to fix communication issues, to discuss and agree on what’s the most optimal play for our team so we can be on the same page and improve our teamplay. But there were too many arguments and stubbornness that halted our improvement as a team. For example, we had arguments on the Herald swap macro play even before the split started and worked on trying to improve on that one play, but the same arguments and stubbornness still came out even after Week 5. Lot of frustration was going around the team, we were trying many different strategies/styles to fix our problems and focusing on winning the weekend matches for our standings. Then there was a week where Peter became really sick and we subbed in Tactical for the week of practice. Tactical performed really well during practice and on stage, our teamplay and communication felt way smoother, and it was really refreshing to see a player full of motivation coming in and changing things around. We definitely wanted to see more of the team with Tactical, and suggested to Peter that we want him and Tactical to share scrim time and we would choose who would go on stage. Peter declined on that, and wanted us to either choose one or the other going into practice and we chose to see more of Tactical with the team. We still had Peter come to practice and participate in meetings and reviews (even though he did not want to), since we still had intentions of using Peter in our future games and didn’t want to give up on him. After our loss against CLG, we decided to give Peter a day of scrim and he seemed really eager to perform well and tried really hard in practice and impressed us with his attitude and performance. Then we had talks with him and he owned up to his past mistakes and apologized to everyone. We decided to keep playing with Peter for the rest of the split, knowing that the last few games of the split mattered immensely for our standings and Peter seemed to be back with a great mindset.
For the comment on feeling like he was put on restraint for the last weeks -
In the past years, Peter always commented on saying that he wants to move away from being a shotcaller and would love to just focus on his own mechanical play and positioning. When he started practicing with the team after being benched, he did speak less and focused on his own play and our teamplay was improving. Thus why we suggested that he should focus on those aspects instead of being a shotcaller, since we already had a lot of voices in our team that made team plans. Never once we said he should hold back his opinions about the game, and only be a follower to the team. Also if he was feeling like he was threatened with his position to be taken away, then I believe this was his first experience in his life where he had to actively fight for his spot. I don’t think any competitive player (or coaches) should take their place for granted, and should always be motivated and working hard to give it their all.
Again, by sharing this information, I’m not trying to put the blame of the team's failure towards Peter. There were a lot of unjustified speculations from outside on his recent vlog and made me want to share my side of the story. I still consider Peter as a good friend and a teammate, and I had the privilege of working with one of the best players in the league and I am grateful for that. All the achievements that Peter accomplished with the team was unforgettable and I wish nothing but the best for him in the future.
Lastly, this spring split was a failure, and there is no excuse for that. I am not going to blame it on the visa issue for Broxah, player’s motivation issues, roster swap causing synergy issues, and all the bullshit excuses that can be made. It is ultimately the coach’s fault for any team's failure and I will take all the blame for the team’s failure and I am very sorry to all the fans that supported us. We are planning to do everything we can and make all the necessary changes to make sure we owe up to that mistake and come back stronger for the rest of the year. Thank you.