One of my favorite birthday gifts in the last five or so years was a poster of TSM TheOddOne, dressed in a general’s uniform, saplings at the ready.

TheOddOne was a very important player to me. He’s the reason why I jungle, and, more importantly why I love this game. But when he retired — although I was consumed with nostalgia for the TSM glory days of old, the Season 2 domination that made me believe in the Baylife — I never once was upset with you, Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider, taking his place on the team.

In fact, I welcomed it. Your Lee Sin plays on Copenhagen Wolves astounded me as a longtime supportive jungler learning how to become more aggressive and calculated. I knew that raw mechanical skill would put TSM in a better place, and I couldn’t wait to see what to see what this new generation of TSM would be able to pull off in what was expected to be one of the most competitive LCS seasons to date.

Now that you’ve officially stepped down and posted your thoughts on your decision, I want to thank you.

I still admire you for what’ve you’ve done for TSM over the course of one split. You took us to Worlds on the back of your excellent Nunu play against Dignitas in the playoffs — a set I bet the General was incredibly proud of.

It sucks that, in some part, the hate from the community got to you, where despite that excellent set where you dominated the vision game alongside your teammate, Lustboy, the hate was so far gone that you would continued to be bashed for missing smites as Nunu. With nobody to turn to, in a country far away from your support group, it’s no wonder why you’d feel like stepping down. I, as a TSM fan, and many others understand.

You were a scapegoat — a human shield — for TSM’s problems. And that sucks. And it’s not fair. And part of me is angry that it had to come to this: leaving a very promising TSM lineup that showed up at Worlds and was improving everyday in scrims.

Much like I look back fondly on the Season 2 TSM roster, I looked forward to seeing this new crop of players going places that old roster simply couldn’t. You beat C9 when they couldn’t. You beat (presumably) beat Korean teams in scrims and beat the likely favorite to win Worlds this year in one professional match. There was so much to look forward to, and that’s why this entire situation is so unfortunate. Because it didn’t matter; it had come to a point where hate without the proper support system won.

More than anything, I’m glad you were able to maturely address the problems in the situation and handle that. I only wish you the best and I can’t wait for you to continue playing in Europe.

You were a TSM player. You are a TSM player. For that, I say thank you.