In a move that surprised – and disappointed – many, esports organization CLG released a video in their sponsored content format. Unlike their usual videos though, this one didn’t feature cool esports content… it featured the announcement of a potential team dismissal in a behind-the-scenes conversation in which CLG’s LCS team is essentially being threatened with being dropped from the roster.
The fact that this moment was filmed at all was already in quite bad taste, however its following release really took the cake. Within the now-deleted video, player Daniel ‘Tafo’ Lee addresses his team, announcing changes and that ‘this might be the last time we have this roster of five playing’.
Now obviously that sort of thing happens, and rosters are frequently changed as teams hire new players and talent switches to other teams as well, however that sort of thing happens behind the scenes – at least until now. Where usually a small press release or announcement is put forth when major roster changes occur, CLG’s ‘unique’ approach was quite different.
The video was deleted again several hours later – so, for about half a day, anyone could watch it, nicely sandwiched in between ads for Bud Light beer. The fact that the supposedly private moment was released at all already rubbed many the wrong way, however it gets worse – the video was published with the caption “On the @BudLightGaming Cooldown we take you behind the scenes of a private team meeting #LCS #CLGFIGHTING”.
In other words, CLG even acknowledges that they are sharing what should be a private moment – nicely garnished with an ad for beer of all things. Their following apology – lots of outrage and several hours later – featured an explanation of why they released the video.
“Our goal was to share an authentic moment with our fans and be as transparent as possible leading up to potential changes that may occur this week. We recognize the negative light that it brings to our players, and for that we apologize and have taken down the video.” The post on Twitter read.
Fans were anything but forgiving – comments on the apology continued to be negative, criticizing CLG for this and other issues with the organization. Many also pointed out that the video did NOT paint their players in a bad light, but only their own organization. Many on Twitter saw it as a refusal to even take responsibility for the incident.
Either way, neither the incident nor the following apology painted CLG in a particular light. Few if any defended the organization, and even the ones that did praised only the honesty of the moment, not the fact that the private meeting was posted in this way.