Launch of the T1 store in South Korea was a huge fail

Launch of the T1 store in South Korea was a huge fail

17. January 2023 by Andrew Williams

The opening of the T1 store in South Korea almost couldn’t have been more embarrassing and disastrous. Who knows what the organizers were thinking when they opened the T1 merch store? From long queues, to typos in the name of one player and broken promises towards the fans, everything was in there.

Everyone expected the launch of the shop to be a big blast, especially in South Korea. T1 is one of the most successful and well known organisations in League of Legends and other esports. Their infrastructure is on a level with regular sportsorganisations, nutritionists and sport coaches take care of the players, while they receive english lessons to improve their international PR possibilities. So why did the store opening go so wrong, with even Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong’s name misspelled on the jerseys?

Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong.

Murphy’s Law fully kicked in here, as just about everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. A great many Korean fans shared their experience during the launch on Twitter, and the most embarrassing part was a typo on the jerseys of star ADC Gumayusi. It said “Gumayushi” and the way this was “covered up” is quite amateurish!

Just take a bit of tape, no one will notice. The people in charge were quite wrong about that. It is clear that no one would seriously buy a jersey on which the name of the player is wrong. At most, people would buy it as a gag or as a souvenir for the chaotic launch day. The tape is also reminiscent of TSM, who had to tape over the logo of their ex-sponsor FTX, and simply taped over the name addition on their jerseys.

Over the past few years, Gumayusi has become one of the most promising players in Korea and has already started building his legacy with the team. Given that, you’d actually expect a professional esports organization to print their players’ names properly on their jerseys. Maybe the intern had a bad day?

Large crowds, long queues

But the name wasn’t the only problem. The organizers of the store opening made no effort to get the crowds under control, which is why many fans had to wait in long lines. Only 15 people were allowed into the store at a time, and that led to frustration among fans.

The online version of the store reportedly offered extra photo cards to the first 300 shoppers, but those who visited the store claimed they did not receive these bonuses. All of this already begs the question of whether T1 came up short for the launch, or if they didn’t start organizing the launch in time to be ready.

We got flashbacks of the queues in front of Apple stores when a new iPhone is released and the biggest enthusiasts pitch their tents the night before. But even in those cases, it seemed to be more regulated than T1.

Sadly, it looks like T1 just wants to make a quick buck. But to disappoint your fans with a fan service like a store seems like an indictment. T1 definitely didn’t do itself any favors with this, and hopefully there will be some compensation for the T1 community after this disaster.