Marta J. January 10, 2020
Korean League of Legends team KT Rolster has opened applications for new trainees and they are looking for young talent. Exclusively looking for young talent, mind you.
KT put out a call for trainees between the ages of 16 and 20.
That hard ceiling at just 20 years of age stunned and angered the community on multiple fronts. Many pro players are trying to break the stigma of older age bringing lower performances. Additionally, the Korean League of Legends scene has been rocked due to multiple revelations of exploitative practices regarding younger players, something that has many feeling uncomfortable.
KT Rolster age limit for trainees spurs criticism
Almost everyone that commented on the post had something to say about the age limit. Even LCK color commentator Nick "LS" De Cesare asked for the reasoning behind it, saying there is no proof that younger players have a better opportunity to become more skilled.
“God, you're so ignorant," LS tweeted to a fan that tried to justify the argument. "There are Korean and Chinese challengers over 30 years old, one guy is even in his 40s.”
Some tried to defend KT Rolster by noting that pouring energy and time into the development of a player over 20 years old might ultimately see their debut happen too late to yield a return on investment. However, this isn’t necessarily true.
The listing also demands applicants be ranked Master or above. According to League of Graphs, this has KT Rolster looking for players ranked in the 99.8th-percentile of ranked players on the Korean server. With other restrictions such as previous punishments for in-game toxicity, the number becomes even smaller.
As such, KT is already exclusively calling for players that are already essentially proven to be elite. As such, it's likely that they wouldn't need an extraordinary amount of time to hit the professional level.
Though KT Rolster hasn't been a part of any of the controversies involving mistreatment of younger players, this listing feels tone deaf on the part of the organization.