Florida Mayhem’s Assistant GM: My Criticism

For awhile now, everyone had been sharing their criticism on the Florida Mayhem management. I don’t really want to get into the past decisions but for this post, I did want to talk about their most recent (as of typing this blog) decision which was to release TViQ, Apply and McGravy as well as the head coach Mineral to focus on an all Korean roster. Now, typically when a team decides to go all Korean, lots of people interpret it as that the staff is unable to get their players to perform well so they just go with Koreans. Koreans have always had a different mentality in esports that they almost seem like they are naturally gifted, even though it’s more how they approach the game. It almost seems like a lazy way out of losing.

Now let’s look at their reasoning. In an Overwatch League news post, Assistant General Manager, Scott “Bearhands” Tester, stated that they decided to go with an all Korean roster and coaching staff so that it can allow “the team to communicate in their native language during games and practice.” He then goes to say, “It is my belief that this change alone will have a tremendous impact on the team’s ability to coordinate, plan and execute those plans.” Well, Scott, I’m sure your new Korean roster coordinated that C9 on Junkertown pretty well. 

All jokes aside, that is the worst excuse to drop the original Misfit roster and then some. First, they are NOT the only team to have players who speak different languages. Atlanta Reign, Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, LA Gladiators, LA Valiant, Philadelphia Fusion, SF Shock, and Washington Justice all have players that speak different languages. In Stage 1 of Season 2, half the teams in playoffs had players who speak different languages. Well, according to the Mayhem’s fearless assistant leader, “esports is still a pretty new thing…” But wait! What about traditional sports that’s been around for far longer? According to Forbes, 27% of Major League Baseball players are from foreign countries. Some of these countries included are non-English speaking like Japan, Mexico, and several South American countries. While to many viewers, the game looks slow, but once the ball is in play, split second decisions based on communication happens on the field. So why isn’t communication a predominant issue in MLB? Sure there are plenty of hand signals, but I remember playing softball back in high school and when we were on the defense, there were plenty of talking happening. Same when I would watch the baseball team play as well.

So I took a look at the staff for all these teams with multi-language players, including Mayhem. Majority of these teams had translators or players/staff who were bilingual. Now I look at Mayhem. Obviously, they needed a translator but they didn’t hire a one until AFTER they kicked off the non-Korean speaking players and coach. That doesn’t make sense at all if Bearhands’ claim was that there was a communications issue. It just boggles my mind.

I think the one tweet that got me was this one: 014

“Imagine moving to a foreign country and working a job where you can’t understand any of your coworkers.”

Yes, there are many people who don’t have to imagine this. So many people who moved to America and couldn’t speak English experience this every day. My family and I experienced this when we moved to America. My dad and I could barely speak English when we came here. I have old friends and family who moved to a non-English speaking European countries and had to learn the language. When Starcraft was huge, many professionals moved to Korea and could barely speak Korean. They were able to learn and get by. Many of Scott’s own coworkers moved here to be part of Overwatch League. Don’t say “imagine” as if moving to a different country is a new thing in this world.

“Imagine this job required precise teamwork and coordination.”

Every job requires teamwork and coordination, even minimum wage paying jobs require this. Fast food restaurant, grocery stores, retail. Even if you don’t think it’s teamwork, there is some involved. Every job relies on their coworkers for the whole team to get through the day and succeed. School implements group projects that requires teamwork and coordination. Even people who speak the same language has had issues with teamwork and coordination.

“Imagine the quality of your work was scrutinized by the internet and the pressure was insane.”

Well, welcome to the internet Scott. This is the digital age where Yelp and social media reviews are a thing. Business are CONSTANTLY being scrutinized online. Mediocre food quality? Low review on Yelp. Sales associate wouldn’t help you? Angry tweet at the corporate Twitter account. Esports professional under perform despite getting the biggest contract of $150,000? Everyone makes fun of him on social media. Scott acted like this is something only esports, let alone his team, deals with. No Scott, anyone who has a relatively large footprint on the internet will be scrutinized when things go bad. It’s just life. It sucks but you be professional and move on because more criticism will be coming.

What’s worse is that in the video explaining the change to a Korean speaking roster, he didn’t even thank the TViQ, Apply and McGravy. At least he thanked Mineral for his dedication but no respect to the players.

Anyways, I’ve been ranting quite a bit now. Florida Mayhem has always been the center of attention when it came to criticizing management instead of the players. They have definitely made decisions in the past that hindered their players’ ability to perform. Hope you guys enjoyed the read. But that is it for me. I’ll see you all next time!

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