Evil Geniuses Under Fire After Alleged Neglect of ADC Danny's Mental Health
Recent sources reveal alleged neglect of ADC Kyle "Danny" Sakamaki by Evil Geniuses. Danny has now responded to the allegations.
Before the semis of the LCS Summer Split 2022, Evil Geniuses informed the public that their star bot laner, Kyle "Danny" Sakamaki, would take a break to focus on his mental health and, therefore, not be a part of their final games against 100 Thieves.
Though most of the League of Legends community supported EG and Danny's decision to take a break, this shocked several fans, players, and casters, especially considering the timing right ahead of the semifinals.
With love regarding our League roster for Chicago.— EG Nicole LaPointe Jameson (@totheLaPointe) September 6, 2022
Thank you for understanding and sending nothing but amazing vibes for the forever Prince of Pentakills. pic.twitter.com/cMvZqqNtiH
Since then, Danny has been away from the spotlight and has not returned to the LCS stage. Lately, rumors have begun circulating about Evil Geniuses allegedly being incompetent in handling Danny's situation, neglecting his mental needs.
Evil Geniuses Reported Negligence Results in Danny Returning Home Malnourished
Richard Lewis from Dexerto released the first extensive article focusing on Danny's treatment by Evil Geniuses.
According to Lewis' sources within Evil Geniuses, Danny's mental and physical health was ignored for too long, despite several concerns throughout his time with the organization. This negligence reportedly led to Danny being sent to a doctor due to malnutrition after finally returning home.
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In addition to Lewis' reports, an article recently released by Arsh Goyal from Medium mentions that Danny had been diagnosed with Autism ahead of joining Evil Geniuses. The organization was aware of Danny's condition and stated they would assist the player in getting used to his new environment as a professional esports player.
Even though Evil Geniuses might have initially focused on Danny's condition, reports from Lewis states the interest in helping Danny diminished. Here is a quote from one of Lewis' sources:
Initially, the organization was aware of his condition and did what they could to support it.
A lot of his problems got worse with stress so, for example, they even hired a coach specifically to work with him. Over time, the management seemed less and less interested in helping him cope with the pressure, and eventually, their strategy was to hope the problem went away despite the players and coaches all saying that he needed to be dropped.
Problems Reportedly Start Occurring at MSI 2022
Danny started playing for EG already in Summer 2021. According to Goyal, Danny's initial phase in EG was stable. During the LCS Spring Split 2022, the team focused on making a comfortable environment for Danny, including a convincing schedule, food, etc.
It was not before MSI 2022 that things started to deteriorate. It was also at this time Danny shared a tweet after going out of the MSI, stating he was happy it was all over.
cause playing 5 straight months of competitive league of legends with scrims, riot features, official matches, lock in, regular LCS season, playoffs, houston finals, MSI, group stage, rumble stage, semis, and erryone hates u.. man i would really like to take a small break— Dan (@realdannylol) May 27, 2022
Evil Geniuses was the only NA representative attending MSI, so a lot of pressure was put on the player's shoulders. However, Goyal's sources state it was not necessarily the pressure put on by the fans that were the primary problem, but instead Danny having to adjust to a new environment in Covid times without the necessary staff to help him along the way.
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Traveling to Korea, isolating, and adapting to a new environment played a large part in Danny's discomfort. In addition, Evil Geniuses did not prioritize sending any of its performance staff to MSI, also excluding the performance member hired to focus solely on Danny.
Goyal and Lewis' sources start to contradict themselves regarding Danny's wish to quit the EG team. According to Lewis, Danny had already stated he wanted to stop playing for the main roster ahead of the LCS Summer Playoffs 2022.
On the other hand, Goyal's sources did not confirm this; instead, Danny reportedly wished to quit after their first round of playoffs against C9.
Danny's wish to remove himself from the roster caused an internal debate within Evil Geniuses, where one side pushed Danny to keep playing, and the other supported Danny's wish.
As we know, Danny's request was not put into action before their final series of the LCS Summer Split, where he was finally removed, and their Academy bot laner Muhammed Hasan "Kaori" Şentürk served as his substitute.
At this point, Evil Geniuses had also qualified for Worlds, so the organization had to go into the tournament without their main ADC on the roster.
As mentioned, once it was time for Danny to return home, Danny's family reportedly had to bring him in for a medical check-up after returning with several medical issues due to him being massively underweight.
Danny Denies Allegations
The discussion around Danny's treatment with Evil Geniuses already began earlier this year. On February 28, Danny came out on Twitter denying the accusations towards Evil Geniuses, stating it was the pressure not from the org that made him quit, but rather the general strain of being an esports pro player.
In the statement, Danny also announced he is now an official member of the EG's content Creator team and would, from now on, be a full-time Twitch streamer.
Hello all, ic there has been quite a lot of news out there and I want to tell you that it is completely on me & the accusations towards EG aren't true. The truth is that the pressure of being an esports pro has overwhelmed me to my breaking point, and EG supported me all the way.— Dan (@realdannylol) February 28, 2023
Regardless of whether the rumors are true, we wish Danny the best and hope his time as a content creator will treat him well.
- You can check out Danny's upcoming streams here
It is also essential to note the importance of esports organizations focusing on mental health. Esports is relatively new, and bringing awareness to mental health issues within the sport can help us avoid instances like this in the future.
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