Yatoro responds to the no-handshake incident vs Talon Esports which had garnered attention in the community.
The 19-year-old TI winner, Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk of Team Spirit has recently faced backlash during the ongoing Lima Major. He was called out for what seemed like poor sportsmanship after walking off-stage without giving his opponents a handshake. A day after, Yatoro dropped a statement to clarify the situation, stating that he was "still in his head about the game" and forgot to shake hands. The CGO of Talon confirmed their mutual respect.
What happened during the match vs Talon Esports?
Yesterday (March 4th), Team Spirit took on Talon Esports in the Lower Bracket Round 2. The Southeast Asian (SEA) team managed to pull off an upset and eliminated the TI10 champions after three games.
After the loss, Yatoro immediately walked off-stage - visibly clapping his hands and exiting the stage earlier than the other players. The rest of Team Spirit then shook hands with Talon Esports.
Fans, especially Talon supporters, called out the poor sportsmanship by Yatoro, as it appeared he had ignored Talon Esports and refused to shake hands. Clips of this moment surfaced on social media and Reddit, with some of the community criticizing his behavior and some giving the benefit of the doubt.
Yatoro addresses the issue
A day after the incident happened, Team Spirit released a statement by Yatoro.
The carry player stated that he saw the clips of him leaving the stage without shaking hands. He then clarified that there is no disrespect from him to Talon Esports. He was still caught up in the game and had simply forgotten to shake hands after the match.
I saw some videos of after the game showing me leaving the stage without shaking hands. There was no disrespect from me for Talon, they are strong and I respect them a lot. I was still in my head about the game and just forgot to shake hands after the match.
He also addressed Spirit's performance, saying that it was unpleasant but the experience will make his team stronger.
Talon CGO confirms mutual respect
The CGO (Chief Growth Officer) of Talon Esports, Dohoon, responded to the statement.
He said that he and Yatoro had a short talk after the match, adding that the young player is always respectful. "We all get caught up in the moment sometimes," he stated.
Had a short talk with him after the match. Hes always a respectful and nice guy. Theres no disrespect between Talon and Yatoro. We all get caught up in the moment sometimes.
While the no-handshake issue sees a happy ending, the Arena 1 stadium in Lima, Peru heats up. Team Spirit is out at the top 8, and Talon Esports remains in contention. Check out our event hub for more Lima Major coverage!