Players and coaches have criticised Fnatic team director Joey ‘YoungBuck’ Steltenpool for comments he made during a press conference.
The controversy was started by comments YoungBuck made after the Worlds semi-finals. He said: “I think none of the players and staff members [on Fnatic] are burning out yet which usually happens to a lot of teams and which I also think happened to C9 and G2 where they reached their goal or overreached and then they didn’t feel the same hunger to keep working.”
The comments were noticed by G2 top-laner Martin ‘Wunder’ Hansen. After Fnatics loss to Invictus in the final, he made reference to the conference. Wunder tweeted: “I think that FNC reached their goal or overreached and didn’t feel the hunger to win worlds.”
YoungBuck replied to Wunder’s tweet, he said: “The difference between us and you is that your team was smiling, laughing, and joking around the moment you guys got backstage immediately after losing.” Wunder responded: “Very known way to cope with a loss? Maybe if you guys were THAT hungry to win you would control your players when they troll in scrims.”
A number of community figures took Wunder’s side. G2 owner Carlos ‘ocelote’ Rodríguez said that “trying to keep good spirits right after a loss is a very common default mechanism versus defeat.” Unicorns of Love coach Fabian ‘Sheepy’ Mallant pointed out that YoungBuck had made similar “condescending and disrespectful” comments about his team in the past.
Former LCS coach Nick ‘LS’ De Cesare defended YoungBuck’s statements, he said “dont know about you, but Ive always noticed champions look disgusted even in victory if they played badly. It’s a mindset thing, and nothing Youngbuck said was condescending/rude (if true). If it hurts, maybe it says more about you than him? [sic]”
Speaking earlier about his team’s poor performance in the final, YoungBuck pinned their underperformance on “physical fitness” and claimed that their schedule had “too much practice and too little time off.”