Lolesports.com Editor Forced to Apologize over Opinion Piece

A senior editor for Riot Games, Frank “Mihri” Fields, had to make a humbling public apology for publishing an opinion piece on the LoL Esports website in a bid to quell the anger it generated among the players it wrote about.

The article in question, a weekly “power rankings,” has often generated criticism from the community on the basis it seems to be little more than a placeholder for the prejudices of the editor. Last week, the article incited so much ire from journalists and players that the editor had to issue an apology.

In truth, as the power rankings are published on a Riot-owned site, it is very tame by the standards of what an average opinion piece in a mainstream publication would read like. However, Fields has become a figure of ridicule in eSports circles due to his antics, most notably his insistence on overruling other staff members when it comes to writing about players and teams. This lead to the now legendarily comical “Top 20 players at worlds” that saw objectively bad placements and a confusing absence of KOO Tigers players despite them being a consistently top four team in the Korean league and going on to achieve second place at the World Championships.

The article seemed to commit a few cardinal sins in the eyes of those who read it. His statements about the Origen team seemed to have no basis in fact, nor even referenced anything statistical that might verify them. In particular, he triggered the anger of legendary top-laner Paul “sOAZ” Boyer, singling out his “tilting” as one of the main reasons the team was losing. Boyer took to Twitter, implying that he felt Fields had it out for him after also saying the player had cost his team a series at the World Championship two years ago and should have been kicked.

The article also described a combination of two champions, namely Lulu in support and Caitlyn in the markswoman role, as “cancer,” which was later changed to “oppression.”

The backlash seems have spurred Riot into action. Fields put out a public apology via Twitlonger in which he said,“I was over the line with some of the Ad Hominem attacks and cheap shots” contained within the piece. The apology also said that it was wrong to “belittle a team or person while they’re down with cheap shots and zingers,” a rule that if it were true would see most sports publications left barren.

While Fields tried to claim that he wrote the apology unprompted, a source from LoL eSports told Breitbart Tech that Riot was not happy with its flagship publication generating unrest among players and managers. This has been proved in the past when Riot suspended one of their star writers, Tyler “Fionn” Erzberger, for five months after making a joke with a team owner on Twitter about paying their staff-writers in mousepads. Upon this sanction being made public, Riot reduced the sentence to something more reasonable. Erzberger is now writing for ESPN.

For Fields, a man who once described himself as “Vox Dei” when it came to why his opinion carried weight, the apology must stick in his craw somewhat despite public posturing to the contrary. However, it is further evidence that the world of League of Legends is primarily concerned with maintaining the status quo rather than functioning like a real sport.


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