Photo by: StarLadder
Tension between Aussie side Renegades and the Chinese crowd at the StarSeries i-League Season 7 playoffs was high this weekend and the two parted less than amicably at the end of the tournament,
What onset the quarrel was the quarterfinal match between Renegades and Ninjas in Pyjamas when, for whatever reason, the crowd deemed it suitable to shout out players’ positions during clutch moments. Locked in 1v1 clutch against Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, Sean “Gratisfaction”‘ Kaiwai was fighting for a key point in the 25th round, with Renegades leading with narrow 13-11. Someone from the tribunes shouted “sandwich” — the position on Mirage where Gratisfaction was hiding.
Despite playing in soundproof booths, the shout must have been heard, because it sparked a reaction from both Gratisfaction and Renegades coach Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović. Gratisfaction gave the crowd the middle finger, while kassad engaged in an articulated argument with the booth admin.
As expected, the Chinese crowd didn’t take this too well and in Renegades next match, the semifinal against Natus Vincere, they apparently ripped apart a Renegades poster and also wished death upon the Aussies.
“I feel disappointed and ashamed by the “fans” shouting racist things to our players after the game,” coach kassad wrote after the semifinal. “Those things have no place in esports.”
Why the crowd was so against Renegades is anyone’s guess. Being simply the less popular team is one reason, of course. Another one might be the “Renepause” incident from the 2017 PGL Krakow Asia Minor, when Renegades paused a match against Chinese team TYLOO multiple times in a series they eventually won.
Whatever the reason, Renegades go home disappointed by the Shanghai crowd but at least $30,000 richer after their top 4 finish.