Team SMG blames 'communication breakdown' for TI11 disqualification, CEO steps down

Ah Fu, Moon, Iceiceice, Poloson and Midone standing with arms folded
Team SMG's Dota 2 team has been reinforced by Singaporean players iceiceice and poloson for the upcoming Southeast Asian qualifiers for The International 11. (Photo: Team SMG)

Malaysia-based organisation Team SMG issued a statement on Friday (2 September) about their disqualification from The International 11 (TI11) regional qualifier for Southeast Asia after they failed to register their roster in time for the event.

Team SMG, founded by Singapore pop star JJ Lin, explained in a statement on its official Facebook page that a "communication breakdown between the team manager and players" was among "several reasons" that led to them failing to register their roster in time for the qualifiers.

The organisation added that they tried to appeal to Dota 2 developer Valve Software but were denied.

Team SMG also apologised to its players, "who put their trust in us as an organisation", especially to Singaporean players Daryl "iceiceice" Koh Pei Xiang and Wilson "poloson" Koh, who joined the team last month in an effort to play at TI in front of their home crowd.

The fact that iceiceice, the most decorated Singaporean Dota 2 player ever, will not be able to play in the TI that will be hosted in his home country is a massive loss.

CEO Kenchi Yap steps down, interim CEO to be appointed

Team SMG also announced that CEO Kenchi Yap will be stepping down from his position, with an interim CEO for the organisation to be appointed, as a result of the incident.

The team added that both the players and management acknowledged that there were "mistakes that could have been avoided" but have "come to terms with the situation."

"We accept full responsibility for what has happened and our lapse in judgement that caused our disqualification," said Team SMG.

"We will be stricter on ourselves and better ourselves inside out as an organisation. We look forward to a more disciplined and professional Team SMG from hereon."

The regional qualifiers for TI11 will take place from 3 to 17 September, with the Southeast Asian qualifier to be held from 13 to 17 September.

TI11 is this year's iteration of Dota 2's marquee million-dollar world championship tournament. It will be hosted in Singapore in October, featuring a revamped format with 30 participating teams and a new LCQ.

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