Broxah, the jungler for European League of Legends team Fnatic, recently spoken out about the online response to Fnatic's elimination from the World Championship tournament, which has included its fair share of toxicity, by his account.
Fnatic finished as the runner-up in last year's Worlds, so after placing second in this year's LEC Summer Playoffs, only one loss behind tournament winners G2 Esports, those who were following Fnatic may have been justified in having high expectations for their Worlds performance. However, according to Broxah, after Fnatic lost in the quarterfinals (to FunPlus Phoenix, who would go on to win the whole thing) the response from some commenters online reached unprecedented levels of toxicity and aggression.
Does this look like hatred to you? pic.twitter.com/wqVzY2qRvy— Broxah (@BroxahLoL) November 16, 2019
Specifically, some of those online comments have singled out Broxah as the sole or primary reason Fnatic was eliminated. Broxah rightly points out that League of Legends is a team game, and no one player can single-handedly tank their team's performance. Of course, Broxah acknowledges that some of those posters placing the blame on him understand that, and are likely just trolling or venting their anger — not that that's any sort of justification for toxicity.
Something he thinks may have been a significant factor behind this new level of negativity is a significant degree of access and transparency Fnatic has allowed their fans into the team's interpersonal dynamics, something that's rare for League of Legends teams. Online audiences knew that some Fnatic players were dealing with personal issues this past season due to the team's willingness to be honest with its fans, and that may have added fuel to online commenters' personal attacks.
Some posts online also speculated that Broxah and Fnatic bot laner Rekkles had trouble getting along with one another this past year — an encapsulation of the breed of toxicity against which Broxah is speaking out. Both Broxah and Rekkles have denied this rumor. Even if the players did once clash, the two are publicly on good terms now, and don't have any obligation to provide more details than that.
As with most instances of online toxicity nowadays, Broxah does acknowledge that this describes a minority of the team's audience. Most are still supportive. That said, it's always the negative posters who are the loudest, and Broxah and has taken notice.