Back in 2015, Riot Games announced that sexism, racism, and homophobia in League of Legends matches decreased to 2% after the introduction of strict measures to prevent the toxic behavior. Racism, homophobia and other forms of toxic behavior have always been a major problem in LoL matches and tournaments. Riot Games took this problem seriously and introduced strict rules and regulations, but they still have a lot to work on. Once again, Riot Games and LoL were caught in the center of a scandal after a Brazilian league player posted racist tweets. He was punished severely!
Before the MSI 2017 started, Red Candis from Brazil posed as a “team to watch” and they did make it to the spotlight, but for all the wrong reasons. The team member, Felipe ‘YoDa’ Noronha a substitute mid laner, was accused of racism over tweets he posted to his account. Noronha made derogatory comments about players coming from Japan, using the purposely misspelled word for “chicken” to mock their pronunciation. He called used the term “japoronga”, which is a derogatory name for Japanese.
Of course, his tweet didn’t go unnoticed and after hundreds of LoL criticized his racist behavior on Reddit, Noronha deleted the tweet. Little did he know that you can delete the tweet, but you can’t take back its meaning. Reddit users also noticed that Noronha is the very same player who suggested in his stream that everyone should troll Korean players when they come to Brazil to participate in MSI.
A lot of Reddit users expressed concern over his behavior, bearing in mind that Noronha has a large fan base consisting of children aged between 12 and 15. After Riot Games announced their ruling over racism, Noronha apologized claiming it was a joke and he failed to realize that someone would take it seriously.
Riot Games ruling
In the official statement, Riot Games made it clear they expect all professional players to maintain good behavior in and out of the game. Furthermore, Riot Games mentioned they have zero tolerance for toxic behavior and any kind or racially derogatory language. Despite the fact that Noronha doesn’t have a prior history of disciplinary actions, he still received a strict punishment for his behavior in order to serve as an example for other players and aspiring talents who look up to him.
The ruling states that Noronha violated rules 9.1.2 and 9.2.4 of the MSI rule set which is why he is suspended from his team’s next three matches at the MSI and fined with $2000 USD. The three-game suspension will bench Noronha for at least the first few rounds of 2017 League of Legends MSI, which is a major setback for his team. Riot Games explained the ban during MSI was because his act was committed shortly before this tournament.
For clarification, rule 9.1.2 Profanity and Hate Speech prohibits team members from using language that is obscene, foul, vulgar, threatening, insulting, abusive, and defamatory. The rule applies to match area, social media, and other forms of communication.
The rule 9.2.4 Discrimination and Denigration orders all team members to avoid offending the dignity or integrity of a country, private person, or group of people through any means of communication. The same rule also prohibits all team members from discrimination regarding financial status, gender, political opinion, religion, language, sexual orientation, or any other reason.
To see the full statement, click here.
Officials from Riot Games take the toxic behavior of any kind seriously and they issue strict punishments to create a healthy and productive environment for both all players. Noronha will miss important matches with his team, which is a big setback for them too. This also serves a sort of lesson for him to think thoroughly before saying or posting anything and take into consideration he is a role model to young children.
About the Author: Amna El Tawil is a news reporter and a technology blogger. For the past five years, she has worked for major publications and TV networks in the Middle East, covering one of region’s hotspots. When Amna is not chasing after the truth amidst gas canisters, she can be found cheering her favorite football team on, or unwinding with some online gaming.