ROX Tigers Deny Rumors on Split After Worlds
Korean League of Legends team ROX Tigers has posted a follow up to an article penned by ESPN’s Jacob Wolf reporting that the team would be disbanding following the conclusion of Worlds, clarifying that the players did not, in fact, have plans to disband.
Citing unnamed sources, the report claimed that the team meant to part ways with their organization in 2015 due to the financial difficulties that arose when their sponsor, KooTV, dropped them, but those plans were thwarted by rules established by ROX Tigers. However, the team vehemently rejects these claims, blatantly describing them as, “Absolutely false.”
“When we were approached about this piece, we explained to ESPN that contracts are up in November for all Korean teams, meaning that players have the option to leave the team and we cannot make a statement on every player’s future decision,” said ROX Tigers in a statement posted to TwitLonger, “This is true for almost every team. We fully intend to keep this team together. Rumors are just rumors.”
The statement went on to explain that their lack of sponsor did not bankrupt them, as they were taken under private ownership during 2015, and they have been working hard to make their brand more easily accessible to both a Korean and international audience.
ROX Tigers also shut down any rumors of active player negotiations. While they have received offers, the team claims to not have responded to any and do not plan to respond until after Worlds comes to a close.
“We are disappointed that ESPN chose to go ahead and publish the piece when it establishes nothing newsworthy and is purely speculative, especially given the timing and the ignorance of our team by the reporter,” ROX Tigers continued, “We question who the “sources close to its players and the organization” might be since our representatives, manager, and players are all surprised to hear of this supposed agreement to disband following Worlds.”
They wrapped up their statement by asking fans to continue cheering for them during Worlds, and to not allow the misinformation to change how they are perceived on the stage. ROX Tigers currently stand in the top four of the League of Legends 2016 World Championship, having knocked EDward Gaming from the quarterfinals in Chicago. They will compete in the semifinals against two-time world champions SK Telecom T1 in New York on the 21st.
ESPN’s Jacob Wolf took to Twitter to declare that he stands by his sources, and has been given information about the offers made towards their players. The original report has not been updated.
Image Source: Riot Games Flickr
A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai