My time at Method - 2018/2019
The past few days have left a bitter taste in my mouth, seeing so many injustices and disgusting acts that have happened in this industry over the years. How they have been allowed to happen, ignored, or even defended in some cases. For most of these cases, I've been outraged from the outside looking in, having never had contact thankfully with any of those who acted in abusive, aggressive or inappropriate actions. I made it pretty clear where I stand on this early. These people don't deserve to be in the industry. There are so many talented and passionate people who struggle every day to be lucky enough to take part in this amazing space, and to let one of those precious spaces be taken by ANYONE who has violated that privilege is a disgrace. That's why I felt like it's important for me to give my account, no matter how minor it is, even though I want to avoid "airing dirty laundry" when it comes to organisations and esports workings. So here goes. (As a note, I have no evidence or logs for ANYTHING said here. A standard part of my contract required me to "destroy" all documents and such pertaining to Method and its running.)
I joined Method in October 2018 after applying around 3 months prior for the PUBG team manager opening. In this time, my talks were primarily with GM Darrie, and Co-Owner Sascha. The interviews were standard, with nothing too noteworthy. Method had just recently let go of two players from their roster, and were looking to rebuild around the two remaining players of xKriss and AndyPyro. I was told that my role was to help create the strongest roster possible in the short time before the Pro League qualifiers. Despite this, during the on-boarding process, I was also told firmly that the value of AndyPyro to Method was more valuable than almost anything - but I also had to build the best team possible, despite any potential negative impacts Andy might have on the team could be, effectively giving me the understanding that Andy held way more weight than I would in the team environment. This obviously should have been a huge red flag, but at the time I had been out of team management for awhile and was honestly too hungry to get in again. These "standards and expectations" were all set by Sascha from my memory.
I started with Method and got to work scouting for the two new players immediately, as well as getting an idea of the current lineup already. I was brand new to PUBG, but this isn't anything new to my experience and tool-set when it comes to entering new games. With the help of xKriss and Andy, we pretty quickly decided on the two players we wanted to join in Menoxx and w1ckk. We had a quick initial talk with the players, with myself, Darrie and Sascha, before moving onto contract negotiations. This was in the lead-up to Blizzcon 2018 and Twitchcon 2018, which all three of the upper management at the time would be attending. Contracts were left with Sascha to draw up and deal with, while knowing that it would likely be delayed by about a week due to the travel/event. It took almost 6 weeks to get the players their contracts, during which time they played with the team under "good faith". Trying to chase this up from Sascha was a constant problem, with no reasons ever being given as to why it was delayed. I want to give credit to Darrie here, who was also understandably frustrated and did as much as she could to solve the situation. I also early on was able to spend time talking with Scott (Sco) at a Gfinity Elite Series Media Day, and also want to give credit to his approach and mentality for esports. Working with Method from here on, my work was basically just with Darrie, and occasionally with Scott.
During the time at Method, it became pretty apparent my job was to accommodate AndyPyro's behaviour and try to just keep an eye on it in case any of it blows back onto Method or it's sponsors. One such instance of this was when AndyPyro was accused of having removed a condom without consent with Alinity. This was basically brushed under the rug by everyone, with the community rolling Alinity due to the hate/bias against her as a personality, and Andy's response being "I'm not going to comment on something from the past being brought up at Christmas time". Not only was the response to confirm that Andy had basically raped someone due to a lack of consent, but there was basically nothing else done besides a minor slap on the wrist in private messages and a message to "keep your head down" from my knowledge and memory. I believe at the time I voiced my distress about the situation, but I wish I had taken a much stronger stance on this, and I'm ashamed to say I didn't because I was too concerned about keeping a job prospect.
After leaving Method with the closure of their PUBG team, Andy was kept on a streamer for a significant amount of time, despite a wrap-sheet of problems. His story and development is a good story and message, and I don't believe in the cancel culture of going after someone regardless of any change/growth. But the way in which this situation was handled from both Andy and Method looking back on it now, highlighted by current events, show a core problem with how Method had allowed this behaviour to gain success, at the cost of morals.
Despite not interacting with Sascha very much and never having any contact with Josh, the culture that has been left at Method to leave issues alone as long as there isn't public outcry regardless of the right and moral thing to do, is disappointing, and I wish I could still say I'm proud to have the Method brand on my resume.