December 23, 2015
This is a follow-up on the post I wrote August 13th, 2015.
It’s now a year and four months since I went public about the doping problem in eSports. A lot has changed. There are active discussions around the topic. Some organizations have established a working relationship with WADA to implement testing procedures.
And some companies, the prime example here would be Riot Games still choose to just ignore the problem and hope the media attention surrounding it will go away eventually.
It was a good year for me personally. Despite getting told by a few companies that I’ve been consulting in the past that they are not able to work with me anymore, because they got pressured into choosing to keep a working relationship with me or a particular organization I was accusing of being ignorant of the doping problem, I was able to sell my shares in the export management business I was running with my business partner for the past three years to a private group of investors.
Being unemployed comes with the advantage that I finally get the chance to spend more time learning new things and doing things I always wanted to do. One of those things was following up with the ESL on the catalog of questions I sent about four months ago.
Turns out the ESL is not interested in transparency or keeping promises they make.
But let’s start at the beginning.
On August 13th, I wrote a mail to the Head of Communications at ESL, Anna Rozwandowicz, who replied to me rather swiftly.
To keep the chain of communication and timeline as transparent as possible, I’ll publish the original emails and only redact contact information and the name of a person I have mentioned that is not directly involved with the ESL anymore.
Please click the screenshots to get a full-size and better readable version in case you can’t see or read them correctly on your screen size.
My reply in English.
As you can see, I’m giving her a catalog of questions, specifically:
On September 27th, when I still had no answers back I sent a follow-up to remind Anna that I was still waiting for the answers.
Well, you can guess that I didn’t get a mail back from Ms. Rozwandowicz. So on December 3rd, I gave her a final window of opportunity to answer my questions because I had set myself a deadline that I wouldn’t wait for another two or three months for questions the ESL told me “they’d be happy to answer.”
Someone got tremendously butthurt over this. On December 9th, I got the following reply cc’ing the ESL’s managing director.
First of all, if there is one thing I’m allergic to besides cats and that is being lied directly to my face. But I’ll come to that later.
I spend an hour reading through my previous emails and couldn’t see how I was “rather unprofessional.” English is not my mother tongue, so I thought maybe there has been some miscommunication. But it turns out that being unprofessional for the Head of Communication at ESL means that they see openly telling them that you will provide transparency and publish the Emails you have been exchanging publicly as a threat instead of saying go ahead, and on top of that here are the answers to your questions I have still not answered.
I have to say I have past bad experiences with the ESL and the way they communicate, which I will show in my next mail. But ultimately being someone that worked in Marketing & PR for a long time I think that every bit of communication counts. I was never afraid to answer questions and criticism that ABIT’s users had. You didn’t need to be a reporter for the New York Times or in the Management at Intel to pick up the phone and talk to me. If your job is communication, then communicating is what you should do.
But before I go on longer about this here is my reply.
To my surprise, the next mail didn’t come from Ms. Rozwandowicz anymore but from the ESL’s managing director Ralf Reichert, who I met two times briefly before and had the impression that he does care about what’s going on in his shop.
This was a rather sad moment. I had hopes that Ralf is either interested to talk in person ( remember I offered to come all the way from Mexico to have a video/audio interview with him on the topic in January) , interested in why vital Mails to his employees don’t seem to be arriving or, at least, be happy to show that the ESL is indeed transparent and open in the communications about their anti-doping policy.
Let`s say I was disappointed at least.
I want you to keep in mind “the day has only 24 hours, and we need to use it as efficiently as possible”.
For the ESL’s communications department this looks like this.
Because I promised transparency about the whole conversation, I’ll add my reply to Ralf as well.
Needless to say that I never got any reply back, or any of those questions answered. Now, about the lying to me part. As said, during my professional career I had this same excuse presented to me a few times. That’s why I usually send unique links with the mail to identify if it has been opened by someone as tracking pixels are not working by default with solutions like Google mail, where the ESL is having its mail services.
Because it’s important to me that my emails actually arrive and I honestly never had any emails not arriving as long as I work with Zoho Mail (since 2006) it makes me angry if people lie to me instead of telling me “Hey sorry I just forgot about you, but I’ll promise to get back to you within X days”.
At least, from my end, I have proof that the mail arrived. And I also checked Google Mail didn’t have any downtime at Sep 27th 2015.
It’s your turn. ESL.
Personal blog of Bjoern Franzen
Marketer, eSport consultant and Developer