Now that the tournament is over and it seems as most of the drama has passed, I thought I’d just release an official little collection of what happened up to and after Gigabyte decided not to have me cast in their tournament. I have a few reasons why I wanted to collect everything and release it here from my POV: 1) no bullshit, but I think most of you have come to expect that already, 2) I want to dispel any rumors that GESL hates me/I hate GESL, 3) I want to shit on GIGABYTE a little bit.
On Saturday, May 5th, John Clark (a sick d00d who works for CSN, awesome guy) messaged me asking me if I’d be interested coming into a conference call with some GESL staff. He said he’d suggested me to them as a player/caster and that most of them were pretty receptive to the idea. (source) I joined the call, then chatted a bit later with John, and everything sounded good. I’d have my room/board paid for and would get paid a small amount (<$1000) to cast. Overall, it would definitely be a net loss (financially) for me due to the revenue I’d lose streaming, but I enjoy getting the chance to interact with fans and other members of the community, so it seemed like a fun idea. On Monday, May 7th, everything was pretty much confirmed and I was good to go for the event. (source)
Everything seemed to go well; the announcement was made on Teamliquid and posted subsequently to reddit, most people seemed receptive to it, etc…etc…Then I received a message from John on May 10th stating that Gigabyte had received a few messages and decided they wanted to pull me from the event. (source) I spoke a bit with with Bobby on May 10th (main guy in charge of organizing the GESL) later, and he said that Gigabyte and Kingston were both “adament[sic] about not having [me] at the event” and encouraged me to contact them personally to try to resolve the issue. (source) I could be wrong about how many people were contacting Gigabyte, but Bobby made it sound like it was a very small number of people the entire time. (source)
Bobby forwarded me the e-mail that Gigabyte sent them concerning me, where they insisted that I was kept from attending the event. (source) I promptly e-mailed both Gigabyte and Kingston back, explaining why I would be a benefit to their event and that it seemed as though most people were interested with me attending and that the few who thought I was racist or wouldn’t watch because I was there was far less than those who would watch simply because I was there. I know I sound a bit arrogant in this e-mail, but I’m not writing this e-mail to try to sound humble, I’m trying to market myself to an organization. That being said, (source). I received a response a bit later from Ken, from Kingston, saying that he had no problem with me attending but that it mainly came down to Gigabyte. (source)
Gigabyte never responded or communicated with me, ever, during this entire ordeal.
I’m very realistic when it comes to how the business side of things operate. I would have probably been okay with being pulled from the event if Gigabyte had at least made some kind of attempt to communicate with me, but they never responded to my e-mail and never made any other attempt to contact me. To quote myself, I wouldn’t have minded things if they’d at least sent me an e-mail back explaining their position. (source)
After this had all happened, the rest of my communication with Bobby was pretty much him being worried that my tweets would scare Gigabyte away from the event (and SC2) altogether. He explained to me his situation about how he was worried that his tournament would be cast in a bad light due to all of this and asked me a few times to tweet positive things about the event, or to retract my tweets about Gigabyte. He even went as far as to invite me as a player to the event on May 12th. (source)
After everything here, I was in a really rough spot, personally. I honestly wish nothing bad on the GESL and I really do like all of the people (or at least the ones I’ve talked to) who are associated with the event. That being said, their success was, in a way, tied to the success of Gigabyte.
Fuck Gigabyte in the ass. And I’m not saying that because their X58 boards were shit and I received two in a row that didn’t work. Or because they obnoxiously capitalize their entire brand name. I’m upset that never throughout all of this did they ever make any attempt at all to contact me. If Gigabyte would have ever contacted me directly stating their rationale behind why they didn’t want me at their event, I would have griped a bit to the person and then explained that I understood their decision. Instead, they continued to complain to Bobby about my behavior without ever trying to contact me in any way, size, shape or form. If Gigabyte doesn’t sponsor any other events or has a bad image of the SC2 community due to the backlash they received and the way this tournament turned out, then fine, fuck them. They have no business being involved in any kind of event if their PR director can’t grow a fucking pair and communicate in a more effective manner. I don’t know how people like this even get in charge of PR in the first place. I’m looking at you, Irene Huang.
Anyway, that’s pretty much a recap of everything from my point of view. I’m sure Bobby’s still a little pissed at me, but I have absolutely nothing against him or anyone else involved with the GESL. I never (and would never have) encouraged any of my fans to DDoS their event or anything like that (on a side note, these are very serious accusations, it’d be interesting to see some kind of proof posted that these things actually did happen, as it’s completely unprecedented in the SC2 community thus far). After I finished my communicating with Bobby I just decided I’d remain silent about the entire event until things passed. I wish everyone involved all the best, except for Gigabyte, because fuck you.