My side of the story
After I was released from TSM, I was not going to say anything. But the article about me on dexerto had a lot of things that were wrong and I want to correct.
I’m not player agent and never took a cut
The part of the article that did not make sense to me is where it said I was acting as player agent and taking their money while getting them a spot on TSM. Here are some of the things the article said.
"The claim is that Yi in his capacity as coach would work with management to select players for their roster"
This makes it sound like I chose players on purpose and messed up scouting for my benefit.
I want to explain how the player selection went this off-season. Last year in summer week 8, management wanted team to practice more because Chinese and Korean teams practice a lot. Parth and Bjergsen said that not every player can do that, but they were told to get players to play more so team was practicing night blocks and even after game days. During playoffs, players feel burned out and started playing badly, ended up losing to Cloud9. I was told that big priority for next year was to find players that are mechanically good and will adjust to the new training schedule.
Parth gave me a list of players from LDL and LPL that he wanted us to talk to. I helped figure out which players were too expensive for TSM and which did not want to go NA and removed them from the list. Then we started tryouts with Chinese and Korean players after getting permission from teams. I would share the stream and VODs of players. If anyone was really good, I got some help to translate comms and send for staff to look at.
At the same time, TSM was talking to Bjergsen, EU and NA players. We had a couple mid and support options who were good. I talked to the players and their family to understand their personality and how they would fit in NA. I sent that information to TSM. I think Keaiduo is a very rookie player but has good fingers and we can help him become good. Shenyi was very smart about the game because he trained under FPX and Doinb. If you see their early streams, they are hard working and willing to learn English and talk to fans. I talked to Parth and Kayys. Once we bring Chawy on, he also look at player VODs with comms. Then they make decision with Andy if we want to go KR players, EU players or CN players. They decide to go Chinese players. I helped and gave suggestion but I never decided anything myself.
"then that he would then go to the player in question and offer to act as their “agent” stating that he could get them on the TSM roster if they allowed him to represent them."
I have never done this. If player ask me about agents or help, I can tell them another agent they can get but I have never been player agent. TSM also told me that I wasn't supposed to be part of negotiations this year. TSM used another person on staff who spoke Mandarin to help with negotiations. These are the four players TSM has gotten last two years.
Swordart -- didn't have an agent
Keaiduo -- I don't know his agent but i know his agency and we have no business connection
Shenyi -- someone from his family was his agent
Yursan -- I know his agent but we don't have any business connection
"For negotiating the deal he would take a cut of the players earnings, often much higher than a standard agent’s fee, for brokering the deal."
I have never taken any amount of players earnings as agent fee or helping them go to TSM. Yursan needed help sending his agent money for their agreement so I helped him transfer it because sending money from USA to CN sometimes is complicated.
Anyone can check that I am telling the truth by asking any of these players or any player I have ever worked with. I have never asked to be their agent to talk to TSM and I have never taken a part of their salary. They will all agree with me.
Then, I want to take responsibility for my mistakes. My grandmother is in the hospital and my family needed money. I had promised Swordart last year that I would pay him for the car to keep myself or send him money when I sold it. I was able to sell it, but I hid it from him and sent that money to my family for part of the expenses. I was embarassed to ask Swordart for help at first and thought I could just pay him back later. He discovered that I had sold the car and asked me to pay him back now. On top of that, my grandmother's treatment was supposed to take more money. I was desperate and reached out to friends and players for help. I know it was wrong of me and I am really sorry. The money has been returned to all the players and I apologized to all of them and then I talked to Swordart and his family and are resolving the situation.
The last thing I want to talk about is my personal feelings about everything that is happening. I have been stressed out from the beginning of the year because of my family issues. But, I was happy that we picked up two young players who really wanted to go to NA and to coach them. I see a lot of potential in both of them. I'm sad at how this season has gone so far and how players are being blamed.
This year TSM does not feel the same. Since I've been on TSM, I could always talk to Parth/ Bjergsen about coaching or game problem and figure out for my players on academy. James would be there to help me with Riot or help players with everything and just as a friend. Leena and Parth always help me with anything I needed or tell me when I did something wrong and how to fix. Now it feels like everyone is angry or scared about something and there is no one to help. Everyone want to just blame each other. Spica didn't bench Shenyi and everyone from community blaming him, but no one from TSM help him. I don't know if I should say something on twitter because maybe I get fired or punished. I don’t know if someone at TSM tells Dexerto about these things but the player agent thing is not true. It is easy for TSM to check and ask players but instead I have to defend myself. Maybe it’s better for TSM if everything is my fault, I don’t know. TSM just doesn't feel the same anymore.
I wish the best for the players on the team. Especially about Keaiduo and Shenyi, as young players they came to NA and don’t speak English and are still trying their best in a hard situation. They had to learn the game and speak English and everything very fast. They got little help and then both got benched. I don’t think they have shown close to what they are capable of.
I want to apologize to Swordart and my current players for my actions and accept TSM’s decision to release me for this. The stuff about me being a player agent and getting a percent of their salaries is 100% not true. Anyone can verify this by talking to any of the players. My time at TSM has been great, but this year was especially hard. I wish the players all the best.