For the past month, members of SK Telecom T1 have been regularly streaming on Twitch, much to the pleasure of the League of Legends community.
The new journey for the champions, though, began with rough patches. The streams were marred by various issues, which made it a less than enjoyable experience. Most notably, a translator screened all questions and comments posted in the chat, as well as donations. As far as fans were concerned, they were interacting with the translator and not the player.
Kongdoo Company, a South Korean entity that has an official contract with SKT to manage their streams, apologized afterwards and promised to take into account the critical feedback for the future. As it turns out, the feedback only ended up in a trash can.
According to a recent thread on Reddit, Kongdoo Company has a stranglehold over the players, dictating overly harsh terms on what and how they stream. It begs the question, just how much control is too much?
To begin with, the players are being forced to stream every day until a specific amount of hours are met. This is despite their condition or if they must rest or prepare for an important game the very next day. As Han “Peanut” Wang-ho was reminded in one of his streams, the star League of Legends jungler was told to not end his stream until the hours are fulfilled.
Secondly, despite earlier feedback, Kongdoo Company is still redirecting the streams through a Chinese broadcasting platform. What this means is that the players have zero control on their streams. They are refrained from interacting with fans through chat and even bringing the chat on their systems.
In the following clip, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon was instructed to take down his chat because of the terms of the Chinese broadcast and instead moderate the chat from an external device. Finding it to be a bother, the players mostly just sit to play in order to be done with their daily hours.
As such, the players have no idea who is watching them or what is being said because nothing reaches them from the fans. Even donations have to be read manually, that is if the players are told about them. It is Kongdoo Company who is in control and decides what to relay to the players.
According to a post on Inven, which has since then been taken down, SKT players were instructed to not talk about the redirected or double-streaming aspect. The management has also been working to take down videos of the players talking about it.
The situation is bizarre to say the least. Streams are supposed to be fun and entertaining for both the streamer and audience. Hopefully, the management will act upon the concerns of the League of Legends community and change their streaming structure.