Why did Danny leave LoL esports so abruptly?

Popular esports organization Evil Geniuses has been accused of failing to take care of one of its most promising... Fragster | 2. March 2023

Popular esports organization Evil Geniuses has been accused of failing to take care of one of its most promising players, the 18-year-old former League of Legends pro Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki. Apparently, the player suffered from malnutrition and mental health issues, with EG failing to intervene.

Evil Geniuses has teams in various esports titles like CS:GO, Fortnite, Call of Duty, Dota 2, and League of Legends.

Did EG neglect their player Danny?

According to Dexterto’s report, the rising League of Legends star Danny has suffered from a constant lack of care which has contributed to the player struggling with his mental health and physical well-being.

Before his departure from professional play, Danny was considered a big up-and-coming talent in the scene. He was best known for his performances at the LSC Spring Playoffs last April, where he received three MVP awards. However, just a few months later, the Evil Geniuses team started to perform poorly, losing most of their games and getting disappointing results. It was noticeable that Danny’s performance changed. 

In September, Evil Geniuses announced that Danny was taking time off due to mental health issues. When Danny returned to his parents, he was reportedly sent to see the doctor for malnutrition. Dexterto’s anonymous sources claim that various Evil Geniuses employees and players have raised concerns about Danny’s health and that the situation was so serious that the LCS Players Association was contacted about the issue.

Burnout and massive stress

In hindsight, there were public indications that Danny may have suffered from stress and burnout. After the conclusion of the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational, Danny tweeted that he had been playing League of Legends for five straight months and would really like to take a little break.

Apparently, Danny is on the autistic spectrum, which impacts how he handles stress. I can be more difficult for him to deal with pressure, which the organization was aware of when they signed him. And as most know, esports comes with a lot of stress and burnout. “Initially, the organization was aware of his condition and did what they could to support him,” a source said. “A lot of his problems got worse with the stress, so they even hired a coach specifically to work with him, for example.”

EG and Danny deny the allegations

However, the source claimed that as time went on, management “seemed less and less interested in helping Danny deal with the pressure” and that the org was simply hoping the problem would go away despite warnings from the players and coach. But Danny’s health continued to deteriorate. The player eventually decided to take some time off, but the issues were only resolved after EG CEO Nicole LaPointe Jameson spoke directly to Danny, sources say.

A few months ago, Jameson indirectly addressed the allegations by sharing a video on Twitter. In it, she claimed that Evil Geniuses cares deeply about its athletes and that she can’t say much because of “labor restrictions.” Meanwhile, esports journalist Thorin posted a video on YouTube making similar allegations against the organization.

Danny strikes a new path

Danny also issued a statement commenting on the reports, saying that the allegations against EG are not true. 

He also announced that he is now an official member of the Evil Geniuses Creator Collective and will be streaming full-time.


While it’s good that Danny got a much-needed break and made a clean transition, the allegations raise questions about the stress and workload of esports professionals and whether they get enough support and care from their management.

Header: Evil Geniuses