Correction: Brokenshard resigned from SK Gaming in May 2020, before the allegations against him were made in Aug. 2020
Update: This story has been update to include SK Gaming’s statement on the allegations.
SK Gaming Academy team manager “Vivi” has detailed alleged negligence and abuse that occurred within the SK Academy in a twitlonger Sunday. The post states that the project was mismanaged and outlines claims of players not receiving contracts and coaches not receiving payments.
SK Academy- the drama you´ve been waiting for
— Viviii (@Vivitortellini) August 15, 2021
Former SK Academy bot laner Maximillian Felix “Sneaby” Baltrusch responded to the initial post alleging that at the start of the project two years ago, when he was 15 years old, he was sexually assaulted by a 21 year-old head coach within the German organization.
The twitlonger explains that players were promised contracts when they joined the team in Summer 2020. They then were provided sample contracts by the org in August 2020, but plans for official contract signings were delayed month to month.
“One time SK didn’t know about the budget, the other time responsible SK authorities weren’t available for talks, the lawyer had some concerns, the CEO had to talk to the CFO, LEC & other topics were more important to address in meetings etc.,” Vivi said in the post. “The excuses ended in March 2021 after the players already played two splits waiting, still hoping to receive promised contracts and (small) salary.”
Two coaches referenced in the twitlonger, who joined the org in August 2020 and January 2021 respectively, allegedly did not receive any of their promised salary until Aug. 15, 2020. The post also highlights issues with management saying they were unequipped to handle personnel issues surrounding player behavior and mental health.
“The Corona pandemic surely made things worse since social contacts were minimized and online school didn’t work out well for everyone,” Vivi said. “From my perspective it is highly! irresponsible to run this project without having anyone educated in working with teenagers who have experienced depressions, suicidal thoughts, domestic violence or bullying.”
In 2020, former SK Gaming Prime coach Ram “Brokenshard” Djemal stepped down from his position three months before allegations of inappropriate sexual interactions with a minor were made against him.
SK Gaming released a statement about the SK Academy team on Aug. 16.
“Today, we would like to give a short statement, apologize and start to make things right with all those involved in our League of Legends academy project.” The statement says. “Our academy project was originally introduced late 2019 as a means to provided support to up-and-coming League of Legends talents. We still believe that the idea was well-intentioned as we wanted to give back to the community, utilize out infrastructure and facilities and provide a platform primarily for German-speaking players to grow and hopefully make it to the big stages one day.
Now, about one and a half years later, we have to acknowledge that we fell short of out community’s and our own expectations and did not live up to what we set out to do. It turned out to be incredibly difficult to structure and grow a project like this and do young ambitious talents justice – especially during a pandemic like COVID-19. Despite that, we certainly could have and should have done much more to lead it to success and we are genuinely sorry for that.
To cut a long story short, the project lacked the resources and organization necessary and for that we take full responsibility. With that being said, we would like to express our sincerest apologies to all those that we disappointed, let down or didn’t listen to enough. We are well aware that this ultimately our fault and promise to do everything we can to make up for lost time, failed expectations and unfulfilled promises.
We have already started reaching out to all those involved and will continue to do so over the next couple of days. It is a priority for us to do right by everyone from here on out and we want to be held accountable for that. If you haven’t heard from us yet, please feel free to reach out directly via mail or Twitter. We won’t leave any message unanswered and invite everyone associated with the project to talk to us in person in order to clear up any misunderstandings and do the community justice.”
A statement regarding the SK Academy project: pic.twitter.com/OHeThf8Iup
— SK Gaming (@SKGaming) August 16, 2021
This story is developing and Upcomer has reached out to involved parties for comment.