To the Evolve Community, Competitive and Casual.
In previous months, an image has been built up around Epex in general about our approach and attitude that gives Epex a very negative image. For anyone who doesn’t know me, I became Epex’s coach and manager just over 2 weeks ago. Joining Epex was a big decision for me, as whilst I was not of a negative opinion of Epex, I knew of the image Epex had built up and was very wary in joining Epex. As manager for Epex, I have spent a lot of time talking to teams, both inside and outside of Epex as an organisation about this image that Epex has, in the hopes of understanding the attitude people have to Epex and how to change it. This open letter to the community will be made up of two main topics which I want to approach, discuss and explain to the community.
The first general topic is something I like to call ‘Old-Epex’. This is the Epex that gained that notorious, bad mouthed, bad mannered and ‘Shady’ image that Epex still carries today, almost like chains. I want to explain how this image came about and why. There are two factors that created this image, one of pressure and one which helped push that pressure over the edge. Almost like the pressure in pipes rising very high and heating up, but one extra thing occurs such as a spark or knock that sets a whole explosion off. The pressure that built up towards Old-Epex was due to members in the Epex organisation acting in an immature, toxic way. Responses made by the Epex organisation towards things such as criticism or any hint of negative attitude was not acceptable back then, and I will not try to excuse this. Epex responded and acted in a way that is just not acceptable of anyone in the Evolve Competitive Community, let alone of a team that has shown to be amongst the best in the scene.
The real tipping point to create the image of Old-Epex came however during a Go4Evolve Cup, in which the Trapper for Epex Black used a technique that was seen by a lot of people at the time as an exploit. When I joined Epex, I spoke to the team about this event to find out what their view on it was, and it actually surprised me. Epex had very much regretted using this technique, and the comms during this game we’re very much against it occurring. However, in the heat of a tie-breaker game, the play was made and Epex suffered for it. It was decided after that this strategy was not considered an Exploit by ESL admins, and was later patched out by TRS. However, the damage to Epex had been done, and the building pressure of Epex’s image exploded. The community backlash for knocking out a crowd favourite team with a highly questionable strategy was considerable. However, Epex’s response to this backlash only aided to prove a point and further this poor image of Epex.
Before I go on with other things about Epex and how Epex is moving forward, I want to take this opportunity to apologise to not just teams involved, but also to the Evolve Community as a whole. To viewers, players and anyone who has been affected by this image of Epex or influenced by it. The way in which Epex had conducted itself was not appropriate and sorely unacceptable.
Now I want to take the chance to talk about the future of Epex, what I hope to achieve as my role as manager for Epex and how I hope the community can help me with this goal. In the recent weeks, Epex has gotten a lot of flak for anytime rules are questioned. Whenever rules are questioned at all during an ESL cup, the games are often stalled out for awhile and this causes viewers to wait for Competitive Gameplay. I want to make clear that this is not the goal Epex has whenever we ask for clarification on rules or contest anything. Epex play to the utmost care to hold ESL rules to the highest standard, and keep to the lettering of the ruleset as much as possible. However, due to the image Epex had given ourselves, attempting to make the rules as clear as possible and gain clarity on them is labelled by some as ‘Whining’ about any rules which don’t ‘Favour Epex’. With the impact our image has, this idea very quickly gets out of hand as seen by this weeks cup with the ESL seeding, and soon mob-mentality takes over to so much of an extent that the Broadcaster had to get directly involved in Twitch chat to inform the chat that Epex was in no way in the wrong. I very much want to avoid cases like this, where the intent of our team is misinterpreted and used against Epex. Epex has, and will continue to question the rules if there is not enough clarity on it, just as we would expect any other team to do so. Stalling out game-play is something we want to avoid at all costs, hence why Epex keeps such high communication with ESL admins to ensure fast resolutions, and are grateful for the improvement of the ESL admins in the speed of making judgement on any situation. We however will never attempt to bend rules to benefit ourselves as a team directly.
The general attitude of Epex members in places such as Twitch chat is also something that is changing and I hope continues in the direction it is heading now. As manager for Epex, I am very much aware there are members in the organisation who do not approach Public Relations in the way they should. Whilst this is not something that can be fixed in something like a day, this is being addressed. Whilst Epex are trying from our end to address this issue, this is where I want to ask for the Community’s help. I am not asking for everyone in the Community to suddenly ‘Love-Epex’, and nor do I expect this. All I wish to ask for, for the sake of Epex and to help reduce the risk of Epex offending the community again in any response we have, is to help dissuade and discourage open-ended hatred towards Epex and to anyone who is attempting to start an argument. As a small and close-knit Community, this behaviour does not help or aid anyone, and quite negatively hurts the scene.
I wish to ask for those who have any quarry against Epex, to steer this away from Twitch chats. This does not mean you should not have your opinions or issues with anything Epex has or will do, however Twitch chat is not the place to voice these, as there is almost no example of when this creates any constructive outcome at all. Please do feel free to contact me instead about anything that may concern you about Epex or any issues you have. I wish to ask that if any team members do say anything to offend you in anyway, that you should try to make contact with me, as the Epex manager, instead of the players. I can be contacted through
Steam : [Epex] Tatl Tael
Thank you very much for taking the time to read through this open letter to the community, allowing me and Epex to apologise for Epex’s behaviour and actions and ask for the community’s assistance in moving forward with Epex to become the best we can.
Coach and Manager for Epex,