Editor's Update: Dignitas Dota 2 Manager Charlie "Monolith" Yang has sent onGamers the following statement to respond to Ashworth's comments:
We had known that Korok had school obligations during that week, however he told us it should be excused if he received proof that he was going to compete in the form of an itinerary and official inviation from Nexon. I began requesting the information from Nexon a month before we were slated to arrive but did not recieve the itinerary until two weeks before we left and the invitation a week before the event. Both items we're given to Korok as soon as we received them. Once he had received the documents the week beforehand, we assumed all he needed to do was to show his professors the proof and he would be excused. He did approach his professors to get himself excused that week but at that point, it was too late and his professors denied the exam makeup. We were informed of this late Wednesday night/Thursday morning the day before we were to leave. Me and Korok went over possible additional solutions to get himself excused but on Friday as I was boarding my flight, Korok messaged me and told me that he couldn't work anything out.
I told him I would contact him again after I landed in Korea and would try to get him on another flight out but when I landed, the team was not able to contact him. Odee callled him personally to check on to see if he was alright but was unable to reach him. At that point it was clear that Korok would not be attending with us and so Winter graciously stepped in for us and I paid his flight over.
For the record, I know Korok wanted to go to Korea and compete with the team. I can understand why he waited until he had both documents to bring to his professors and the stress he was under during that time to figure things out. It's unfortunate that we recieved the documents we needed so late but I do not want to disparage Nexon or OGN. They treated us very well and put on an event we all enjoyed competing in. Balancing school and competition is a complicated issue and there are various pieces to every side of this story. Ultimately, Korok wasn't kicked because he missed the trip to Korea but because during the trip we were unable to communicate with him and when we returned it was apparent that management and Korok would not be able to work together.
Original Story: Last week Steven 'Korok' Ashworth was let go by Dignitas, cited for commitment and communication issues between the Ashworth and the team. Ashworth missed the team's trip to Korea for the Nexon Invitational Super Match and was released shortly after. “[Korok is] only the fourth player in ten years to be kicked in effect, his attitude sucked", Dignitas Owner O'Dell told onGamers at the time. "Fair enough if he has real life school stuff but he failed to let us know in good time he couldn’t go to Korea. Then after numerous attempts to contact him he failed to respond to our management tonight stating he was busy. We decided to kick him from our organization. He not only let us down, but worst of all his own teammates which is f****** out of order.”
Following the release of Ashworth, teammates Theeban '1437' Siva and Scott 'bLeek' Jensen followed suit, forcing Dignitas to cancel their participation at MLG Columbus and O'Dell to disband the team entirely. Ashworth tells onGamers that he wasn't surprised Siva and Jensen left after he was released, but that he would have liked for the team to compete in Columbus.
"I wanted to continue on with the team to compete at MLG Columbus", Ashworth said. "After being berated on voice chat by Odee, I realized that having a healthy relationship with him wouldn't be possible and it changed my respect for the organization. I was banned from their voice chat while talking to my teammates about the future of the team. I had thought Odee would be understanding but he had treated it as if my school obligations and availability meant nothing. I had been out of contact and he took it personally."
"The team was very unstable due to several roster changes. Despite poor performance in practice and online tournaments, the team was fairly successful in the two LAN events it attended."
When asked about his commitments to school and lack of communication with the team, Ashworth says Dignitas was aware of his schedule before signing up to Nexon, but that the idea was floated up until the final moments before the event.
"I had major school assignments that dignitas management had been aware of since before we had signed up for the Nexon league", Ashworth said. "I told management that if I could get them excused then I would be able to attend on the 2nd week (my initial preference was the 1st but we chose the 2nd to accomodate other players). After picking the date, I requested documentation from the management for rescheduling reasons but they were unable to produce any until the Friday before my flight. By then it was too late to try to make anything work and that following Monday I was unable to reschedule anything despite trying multiple times."
"I had let my team know that things were looking extremely bleak for my Korea situation at MLG Fullsail and by the Wednesday night before Nexon I realized that it was impossible after trying to find any ways that weren't tanking the absences and appealing it afterwards. It was extremely frustrating and despite me reminding our manager of my situation at least five times, I realized that I should have just abandoned the idea of going much earlier."
Siva says his departure from the team wasn't entirely related to Ashworth's removal, and that the team never really got things going together.
"The team we had was actually some sort of a part time team who weren't able to practice much do to the time restraints from other real life commitments", he said. "Korok and Bleek both had to attend school and Inphinity often had to cut out of practice the last moment to go assist his family or do something else, between all of this scheduling practice was extremely difficult or inefficient. Honestly there really wasn't a moment where i felt like we were a real "team" but more of a random mix playing together in an in-house league."
O'Dell tells onGamers that Dignitas will sign another Dota 2 team in the future, and that teams will not be limited to North America.
Image Credit: team-dignitas.net