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Tragic Details About TSM

TSM – or Team SoloMid – is one of the oldest, most established esports teams working today. The group is massive, supporting several teams that specialize in individual games like "Valorant" and "Super Smash Bros.," but it made a name for itself in the "League of Legends" world. The group also boasts one of the most advanced facilities in esports. More of a practice and event space than a mansion, the TSM Facility shows that the group is serious about training, and that esports is just as much of a skill as something more physical like football or baseball. 

That being said, TSM has seen its fair share of drama and heartbreak over the years. Many members have come and gone, moving on to solo careers or getting out of the gaming world entirely.  With more recent scandals rocking the org, many fans are interested to see what kind of tragedies lie behind TSM's powerful exterior.

TSM's toxic culture scandal

In January 2022, Wired reported that TSM's founder and CEO, Andy "Reginald" Dinh, was under investigation by both TSM and Riot after being accused of verbally abusing players and employees in the organization.

Wired spoke to numerous anonymous TSM employees, who explained that Dinh would drive employees to tears on a regular basis over small issues and berating people in front of others as sort of "exhibition." According to the report, working at TSM was basically like walking on eggshells: "Long-term employees understand that eventually there will come a time when Andy wants to fire them and it'll be about something really small." Prior to this report, former TSM member Doublelift also spoke out against Dinh, describing an experience that lined up with the more recent allegations.

The ongoing investigation was originally launched by both organizations in 2021. For his own part, Dinh justified his behavior in an email to Wired by saying that he has "extremely high expectations" for himself and those around him, adding that he has "zero tolerance for underperformance." He also pointed out that he delivers feedback "directly and bluntly," but that there have been times where he could've worded his responses differently.

Bjergsen has experienced depression and anxiety

Bjergsen was an important part of TSM's "League of Legends" roster for several years before leaving the group in 2021. In the past, Bjergsen has been open about his struggles with depression and fitting in as a kid and young adult.

In 2014, before Bjergsen joined TSM, he posted on Facebook about his experience of rising up the esports ladder as a young gamer from Denmark. He explained that he'd been the victim of bullying since he was very young, receiving mistreatment from other kids and even teachers. Because people in authority were part of the problem, he felt like nothing could stop it. This led to him being deeply depressed as a child, and he turned to video games as an escape.

He eventually dropped out of school in response to the intense bullying, which had also given Bjergsen deep-seated anxiety. Even afterwards, he struggled with how people would perceive him and would turn down interviews after entering the esports scene. However, after some time, he realized that the community was much nicer than he ever expected. In 2020, a mini documentary released by TSM showed Bjergsen talking about how he's healed from his past, explaining that he can finally "appreciate" where he came from.

Mayumi's terrifying experience with a stalker doorman

In May 2021, TSM's Mayumi shared a scary experience she'd had with a doorman at her apartment building. As Mayumi explained in a TwitLonger post (translation via DotEsports), the trouble began shortly after she moved in. 

According to Ayumi, the doorman in question got her phone number from the apartment building's registry and contacted her several times, despite her repeatedly asking him to delete the number and leave her alone. When he didn't heed her request, she took to Twitter to tell her followers about the issue and to share screenshots of the doorman's texts.

However, the doorman revealed that he also followed her online and saw her posts about the situation. Mayumi finally alerted her landlord to the situation. As she explained to her fans, she no longer felt safe with a stalker having access to her phone number and address, especially if he could leak it to her other followers online. The doorman was fired, thankfully putting an end to a tense and stressful situation.

Doublelift's family was attacked

One of the most talented "League of Legends" players in TSM history, Doublelift, went through a traumatic experience while participating in the NA LCS Spring Split Finals back in 2018. Before the event started, he was informed that his parents had just been attacked by his older brother, which resulted in the death of his mother and his father being hospitalized.

At the time, Tilt Report noted that Doublelift had previously identified his brother in an interview as "the most influential figure in [his] life," making the tragic crime all the more horrifying.

Due to the timing of the attack, many people questioned whether or not Doublelift would be joining his team at the Finals. Doublelift did play, and his team won. Afterwards, he opened up about how he'd really relied on his teammates to get through the event and the hard days surrounding it. He also explained that he'd never questioned whether or not he would play, as focusing on the tournament almost became an escape for him.

Leffen's struggles with being his own worst enemy

Leffen is a professional "Super Smash Bros. Melee" player who has been playing the game for years. Despite having many wins under his belt, he struggled to beat the competition during Smash Summit 12 in December 2021, and his response to his losses were incredibly self-demeaning.

As Leffen has acknowledged on Twitter, being in the right mental state is pretty important when playing a highly competitive and fast-paced game like "Super Smash Bros." Unfortunately, Leffen got caught up in his disappointment, degrading himself harshly on Twitter after completing his sets. He said that his overall performance in tournaments has led him to "hating" himself, and that quitting might make him happier. He did point out that he did well "for [his] circumstances" as an EU player with little to no practice against NA players, but it didn't make the losing feel any better.

A few days later, he came back to tweet that his friends had pumped him back up, pointing out that he's "too good to quit." While the mental strain of esports had brought him down, Leffen luckily has a support system to raise his spirits again.