Jeon “Dara” Jeong-hoon announced on May 3, 2018, that he is choosing to retire from professional League of Legends competition. Dara says incidents regarding his foreigner resident card were “truly terrifying”. Dara is a professional League of Legends player from Korea who was playing in Japan’s League of Legends league, the LJL.
Dara has played on two teams in the LJL. Most recently, he played for SCARZ Burning Core. Before that, he was a member of Pentagram, previously known as Rampage. The LJL penalized Pentagram back in February, with a three-month ban to staff members Nakamura Hiroki and Fujita Takuya. Dara and fellow Korean citizen Lee “Tussle” Moon-yong both received verbal warnings. Additionally, Pentagram was penalized by having the team automatically forfeit every match for the first five weeks of the LJL’s 2018 Spring Split. Both Dara and Tussle left Pentagram in November 2017.
What was the real cause of all this though? All foreign residents in Japan are required to carry a resident card and they must show them to police officers at any time they are requested. Even a permanent resident must carry this card with them if they are a foreigner to Japan. The Immigration Bureau of Japan states:
If you don’t carry residence card you may be punished with a fine not exceeding 200,000 yen, and if you refuse to present it, you may be punished with imprisonment for not more than one year or a fine not exceeding 200,000 yen.
That is about $1,800. If your card is stolen, you must report it to police and reapply for foreign residence.
The verbal warnings received by Dara and Tussle were for not having their resident cards with them. However, Dara alleged that the management of Pentagram took the resident cards and made threats to the two Korean players. Pentagram claims it was all miscommunication and they were holding onto the card for the players while they were waiting to hear from immigration.
Dara alleged that Fujita Takuya “didn’t ‘temporarily’ hold onto our cards. I heard him say, ‘If you don’t leave your card here, you can’t leave the team.'” Dara also claimed Fujita said, “This residence card is the property of the team.” Tussle did not publicly make any statements, but he did retweet Dara’s post. He announced he was retiring and returning to South Korea. In a series of tweets, he says he has “frightening” memories of his time on Rampage (now Pentagram) and that his “spirit is broken”. Also in these tweets, he recalled the pressure of being in a foreign country and that he felt powerless. He hoped for a formal apology, but did not receive one and says he feels stupid for thinking he would.
Dara apologizes to his fans and thanked SCARZ Burning Core for the opportunity they gave him. He looks forward to watching his Burning Core teammates grow in pursuing their e-sports dreams.
Was a three-month penalty too lenient of a punishment for Pentagram? Do you feel Dara was being overdramatic? Let us know in the comments!