A day after Flash Wolves announced that Hung "Karsa" Hau-Hsuan had been suspended indefinitely for disconnecting before the Nexus exploded in their game against Raise Gaming, the organization's management held a Q&A on Twitch to delve into the reasoning behind their decision and address community concerns.
Flash Wolves have had a shaky start to the Summer Split since their return from MSI 2017. The story of their struggles begins with MMD and Betty being suspended for the first week of play due to alleged misbehavior in the form of underage drinking during a karaoke session (Betty is 17, legal age of drinking is 18 in Taiwan). This roster shuffle resulted in Moonblack and Madness stepping into fill in for the vacancy left in the Top and ADC roles.
Without their starting lineup and using a roster that had been thrown together without much practice, Flash Wolves lost all their games in the first week of the 2017 LMS Summer Split. With the players two returning for Week 2, Flash Wolves fans had hoped to see the powerhouse LMS team that took fourth at MSI finally play with their original roster, but have been left with feelings of disappointment and confusion as to why Flash Wolves would willingly handicap themselves by suspending yet another player.
In the stream Flash Wolves management touched upon several issues starting off by explaining how MMD and Betty had violated terms in their contracts regarding personal behavior followed by addressing the issue with Karsa and why the direction of the management.
Below is a translation of some questions and answers that team leader “Bee” and couch “Steak” provided for the community during the session that has been condensed for clarity.
1. Reason for banning Top Laner MMD and ADC Betty for one week.A: We didn’t want to reveal the reason to ban MMD and Betty at first because we didn’t think it is necessary to let these young kids bear the public scrutiny that is going to come along if we reveal the reasons. Also, this is the agreement on personal behavior is between the players and us when they sign the contract with us, so we didn’t think it’s necessary to explain the issue in detail. However, we are almost certain people that follow our news already know the reason they are banned. [Rumor has it that they went to a singing room with friends at night and violate law of underage drinking (Betty is 17, legal age of drinking is 18 in Taiwan).] The two players already sincerely apologized. They understand their wrongdoing and the reason for us to ban them.
The decision to ban these players for this particular reason is under the agreement of all the management team members and the player’s family as well. We all believe that this is the right decision, and we still believe it is. Even for a week, MMD and Betty had already shown another side of their personality that we haven’t seen before, eagerly helping the rookies that subbed for them with LoL knowledge.
A lot of people are saying that if we don’t punish them, no one will know they did wrong. We don’t think it is the correct attitude to face a wrongdoing. We believe that having a well-behaved player is more important than winning, because this is what we promised their parents, and the image we want to show others about the eSports industry. As for rest of the players, it is definitely a challenge for them to adapt the rookies in such a short time. However, as a team, it is part of their job to adapt the changes in a team and understand that the team stays together at all times.
2. What really happened to Karsa?A: The issue is that Karsa left the game early in the last game with RG after acknowledging the lost. Some even saw him on his phone right after he jumped out of the game. We decide to ban him not just because he left the game early, but we know now that this is not the only real issue.
We talked with Karsa about his behavior, and he told us honestly that he was under a lot of pressure after MSI, and that he feels emotionally unstable. This is why we made the decision to ban him, allowing him some time to rest and get back his passion for gaming. Again, this decision is made after communicating with his parents and himself.
We already like him as the way he is, being possibly the top three players in the LMS region. However, we believe that if he can use this chance to improve himself, we can possibly do better than we do now. We understand that there needs to be some change within Flash Wolves if we want to do better at worlds in the future. Karsa also knows this, and he is willing to change for the better. He told us he will take up the challenge to improve himself. We do not have a set time for him to come back to play on the team, we will be borrowing the Jungle player Refra1n from J Team until our contract with them ends.
3. What is the management direction of Flash Wolves? (Why does Flash Wolves use such severe punishments?)A: Honestly, we do not know if this is the best solution to deal with this situation. But all decision was made sincerely under many considerations. We believe that personal education is more important than winning. We need to let these young players learn not only how to play games, but also how to be a responsible person. This is the central goal of our CEO when he created the team, and this is what we try to carry out in our management.
Of course we feel bad being defeated. However, we also have to look at the bigger picture. Even though we won LMS spring split with zero defeat, we consider our MSI performance unsatisfying. After the failure, we deeply thought about the future of Flash Wolves. Even though our decision may harm the immediate results, but we believe that it will benefit Flash Wolves team as a whole and the individual players in the long run.
While many in the West still view this kind of punishment of overtly severe during the onset of a split, the popular opinion for fans of Flash Wolves and LMS region viewers is split in light of this information as the begin to understand the reality of the situation.
With this level of professionalism, some believe that Flash Wolves will be able to resolve their problems and come back as stronger than ever while others think that the management team does not respect the fans of both Flash Wolves and League of Legends by denying these players from competing. I personally think this is either going to make or break them. If the result is positive, they may find a way to overcome their shortcomings and come back as a better team as many still wish to see them beating the Koreans again at Worlds some day.