I joined Team Huma in the beginning of January as an analyst and to say it has been a disaster would be an understatement. Ever since the beginning of joining the team, the influence of Nicole Manning was immediately noticeable. Nicole would constantly interfere in the day to day operations of the team and would create an extra node in the chain of communication with other teams causing constant confusion and difficulties with scrims (which as far as I was aware was her only job in the team at that point in time.)
After a time of being with the team, Nicole approached me saying she had “hypothetically” acquired some kind of inside information regarding “strategies not yet released” and was asking me if i would want to use them. She continued to reassure me that it was “not shady” and “not illegal”. I repeatedly told her that getting inside information would not help this team and continued to say that i wanted no part of this; after saying this to her she became extremely defensive and repeated ad-nauseum that she was: not shady, not operating in the grey areas and had reasonable ways of obtaining this information. I continued to refuse this and by the end of the conversation she had gone on to say that in the past she had received inside information and she could have cheated before and had even acquired the financials of a challenger team in NA during her time with Final Five, she also insisted that I not tell Kubz (the Head Coach) that she had come to me and said this to me. This made me feel uncomfortable with Nicole as a person and made it seem as if she was either trying to trick me into saying something that she could use to replace me or something that she could later use against me.
During the time where Nicole Manning was working more directly with the team, she still maintained the previous support staff that existed (and was working for free of course, a trend that became very common within the organization.) Daniel and Matthew were previously the analyst and head coach respectively before myself and Kubz joined the team. At no point did I hear a single thing from Daniel and what little we did hear/see from Matthew it seemed as if he was doing every task he was assigned in a span of 30 minutes prior to when they were due (much of these tasks were scouting information on other teams meaning that these tasks were quite time sensitive.) The few pieces of work we received from Matthew were simply not quality work and despite telling Nicole that he was simply not fit to work in this team, she constantly insisted that we keep him around because he was working for free and because she believed for some reason that he was destined to somehow do great things as a League of Legends analyst/coach. Clearly he was a friend of Nicole’s and after weeks of being told we had to involve Matthew with our prep, we began doing the work we assigned him ourselves because it was needed. We would look at the work he would give us just to compare the time investments and eventually Kubz was told that he would have to be the one to “fire” Matthew. It is also important to keep in mind that every single player had no idea he was still with the team during this point in time and the final task that we gave to Matthew was to make a VOD review of our games in the open qualifier to present to the team. It was over 30 minutes long and within the first 5-10 minutes, each player closed it and said it was a waste of time and was in general low quality work.
Additionally regarding Matthew, he was slated to be the Head Coach initially by Nicole Manning and had to be replaced almost immediately by Karl who had been handling most of the business operations at that point due to what I can only assume was Nicole’s incompetency. Moving forward, Karl eventually returned to that position as me and Kubz took over after the Christmas break. Matthew barely ever showed up for practice and the few times he did show up he would sit in the teamspeak room with his microphone muted and i can only assume he was recording the conversations going on between scrims for Nicole because he never spoke a single word during those practices that he did attend. The only two things Matthew ever said in teamspeak were that 1) He could cook and 2) he could stream.
I barely had any direct conversations with Behdad (the owner) but from the few team conversations that we (coaching staff and players) had with him, I could tell almost immediately that Behdad was an absolute snake. He would constantly lie and try to talk his way out of all the criticism he brought upon himself from not paying players on time to promising things that he clearly didn’t have the money for (we were supposed to ALL move into a gaming house before the challenger series even began, you can read about even more of the false promises he made in Kubz’s statement) and the players would constantly call him out on these lies and it got to a point where he blankly stated in front of the team that he had declined the many offers he had received to sell the team because he wanted to be part of the team and that he wanted to work with these players. This came as a slap to the face of every single person in the conversation, especially the players, who had been taken advantage of by Behdad who all said to him that they wanted no part in working with him because simply put everything he said to them was either a lie or just a complete fabrication. Every single player was frustrated that Behdad was too selfish and delusional to sell the team to an organization who had the funds and resources that would give them the ultimate chance of making LCS.
The only private conversation I had with Behdad over skype was involving which airport I would use for travel, only to be later told that he had no intention of flying me anywhere because he had absolutely no money to pay for any accommodations. Other conversations I had with Behdad involved Kubz and Myself being constantly promised that we would receive employment contracts and payment and eventually I had been told by Karl that Behdad intended to not pay me at all after working for approximately a month for free simply because he had no money to pay me with. Karl managed to renegotiate his own salary in order to give parts of it to me and Kubz so we could be even remotely fairly compensated for all the work we put into this team. For me personally, earning a fair salary was crucial to following this passion of mine because simply put I can not survive on my own without making some kind of income. I live on my own and have rent + utilities + food to pay for in order to simply exist; with the way Behdad would stall all negotiations and try to cut corners it seemed like some game he was playing while I was treating this as my full-time job and dedicating the hours anyone would expect for that kind of position.
At the end of the day, this seemed like a passion project that a foolish person embarked on having absolutely no clue of the carnage he would cause in the lives of all the people he would string along slowly. People such as the numerous other members of staff who will likely go unnamed for many of these statements such as our graphic designer, our social media manager, our other administrative staff, upwards of 7-8 people (including Kubz, Karl and myself) all completely unpaid for the entire duration of this project strung along with fake promises and absolute bullshit. To this day, as far as I know the only person involved with Huma that has ever been paid (excluding the players) was Nicole Manning, who I later learned was dating Behdad which immediately explained how she was able to run around this team acting in the way she did because for all intents and purposes she was bulletproof despite her complete lack of competency in any of the tasks she was assigned during her time with Huma.
In conclusion, my time with Huma was made tolerable because of Karl, Kubz and the awesome players I got to work with every single day. This group of players was absolutely amazing and I hope I can continue to work with them in future, especially in a setting where “did you guys get paid yet?”is not a commonly asked question among the players. Many may think that it is silly that I mention the players in this light since most analysts work at arms reach of the players, but seriously these guys are amazing and would even ask Behdad and Nicole why Kubz and myself were not paid for the work we did with them every day and would insist that we get paid ASAP. Hopefully it doesn't end here.