Experienced UK Rainbow Six Siege player Luke ‘Kendrew’ Kendrew has spoken about being ‘beaten down and blamed’ by his teammates which led to his benching.
Kendrew has been playing with Cowana Gaming since March 2021 in the likes of the UK & Ireland Nationals and the European League (EUL). He was brought in to take on the role of in-game leader.
Today he posted a video and statement on being benched by Cowana, and got a lot off his chest. Kendrew claimed he was ‘pushed out’ by Cowana mid-season and felt he was ‘being pushed into someone he’s not’, that the struggle was exhausting for his mental health, and that he was tired and demotivated.
Kendrew spoke about the other players on the team being close friends with one another and that he felt outside of their inner circle, and that he had no chance to defend himself when being benched.
He also claims he was lied to by his coach, who told him ‘when you’re on it, you’re the best IGL in the world’, only to be benched in the same week.
Cowana consists of players Anarchic, Grizzly, GorgoNa and Sloth, as well as coach Mrofficer88 (who is temporarily standing in for Kendrew), analyst Davil, strategic coach Rideoo and others.
Kendrew did thank Cowana as an organisation, however, and explained they are helping him to find a new home. He said he’s open to moving abroad to another league, or becoming a coach or analyst.
“I never give up. I count myself as a winner, it’s not in my DNA to give up – I want to be the best. I was never satisfied with the third-place finish in the European League, I wanted to do it again and win the god-damn thing. Sometimes practice and officials don’t go your way, maybe it’s tilting but it’s never a reason to give up,” Kendrew said.
“When this happened, instead of helping me get back on track, my teammates would beat me down, blaming me single-handedly for losses in the EUL. It also happened to multiple members of the team very often, but I was the one being used as an excuse – ‘Kendrew was tilted so it doesn’t matter about me’.
“This hurt so much because they used giving up as a reason to kick me, but gave up on me the first moment they could. The fact that roster changes even went through their mind mid-season is mind-boggling to me.”
Gamma Gaming’s UK coach James ‘Sternab’ Parkinson made the point there’s two sides to every story and Cowana haven’t responded yet.
Cowana responded with the following comment to Kendrew on social media:
Elsewhere, another high-profile UK esports player was recently benched: Welsh League of Legends player Alphari, who was benched by Team Liquid in the NA LCS earlier this year. Alphari returned to Liquid’s starting line-up with a win earlier this month, but has been dropped for a few games since.
We’ll update this article with Cowana’s statement on Tuesday.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.