TSM is under fire, with some esports fans even demanding the organization be fined after it posted an offensive meme format on its Twitter.
After losing a match in the LCS, TSM responded by posting a classic meme with a dark twist. It was an “Are you winning, son?” meme, but with the son hanging from the ceiling, his gaming chair knocked over. The joke was essentially that TSM wanted to die after such a poor performance.
The esports community immediately spoke up, calling for TSM’s social media manager, Dunc, to be fired. TSM deleted the meme from its social media account but many fans already had the screenshot and were sharing it around online. Many felt that the meme was beyond offensive, treating mental illness and suicide as a joke.
Dunc took to his own Twitter to apologize, claiming that posting the meme was an “amateur mistake.” He claimed that he had no clue what the meme format truly depicted and thought the son in the meme was “walking away from the chair” after “kicking the chair in frustration.” Dunc claims that once he realized what the meme actually was he swiftly deleted it.
“I’ve been a big outspoken voice for mental health, suicide, and everything that comes with it. I wouldn’t joke, have never joked, and did not mean to have it come out as a joke. I really really am sorry,” Dunc said.
Just want to apologise for using the wrong image for a sad meme. I completely misjudged the template until it was pointed out.
Amatuer mistake and I won’t let it happen again.
— TSM Dunc (@followdunc) March 5, 2021
The response from the esports community was mixed. Many questioned how a seasoned social media manager could make such a mistake. It seemed unlikely that a meme template where the son walks away from a chair would be considered comedic by the community’s standards, so it was hard to believe that Dunc wasn’t aware of the real joke behind the meme.
But others quickly forgave Dunc for his mistake. Many watched his stream and told others on Twitter that he was a genuinely nice person. Some esports fans said that trying to get Dunc fired was just a “witch hunt.” Others said that they also thought the meme was simply the son “raging” after a loss and felt his apology was sincere.
While the esports community was overall disappointed that such a meme was shared, most of the frustration was directed at TSM instead of Dunc. TSM has continuously been seen as a controversial team in the LCS, with some feeling that the organization gets special treatment. Others have noted in the past that TSM’s fans are toxic.
TSM decided to respond to the ongoing controversy with a TwitLonger. The organization stated that mental health is a “huge priority, especially during these difficult times,” adding that it’s not a subject to be laughed at or made into a meme. The organization continued to note that they strive to build a “positive community” and will learn from the mistake.
TSM added that there will be a process in place from now on that will prevent similar situations from happening in the future.
Within the TwitLonger, TSM strongly stood up for Dunc. The organization begged fans not to continue with “personal attacks and threats.” TSM said they had reviewed the situation and found that the meme was a “huge mistake” but not the social media team’s intention.
“For those of you that know Dunc, please know that it was an honest mistake and is focused on educating himself, and has committed to working to rebuild trust within our community. Rest assured that we have taken this situation very seriously not only as an organization but as the people who work for it,” TSM said. “You may not know the spirit of who works for TSM, but we do.”
The esports community responded with split opinions once again. Some called for Dunc to be fired, while others said that he shouldn’t be punished for a simple mistake. Some felt the meme was still funny, while others said it was “disgusting.”
Riot Games has not made a public statement about the situation at this time.