A pair of professional League of Legends players have received lengthy bans from competitive play due to “toxic behavior,” “verbal abuse,” and “offensive language.” The ban comes down from the esports coordinator for Riot Games, meaning that both Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez and Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm will be suspended from the League Championship Series and Challenger Series for the rest of 2014.
Mithy and Nukeduck have been members of the Challenger Series team Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) for the past nine months. The team has struggled lately, posting losses in the most recent two League Championship Series tournaments.
Following their ban, NiP announced that the two will be dropped from the team.
So just how bad was their behavior to warrant such a lengthy suspension?
Well Riot Games measures a players negative behavior with something called a “harassment score,” which logs how often a player is reported and for what offense.
According to the ruling, Mithy’s harassment score was in the top 1% of all players in the EUW region, and that he was reported in over 30% of his games. Additionally, he was reported over 30 times for leaving a game or going AFK. Nukeduck has likewise been reported in nearly 30% of all of his games, with over 65% of those being for “Offensive Language, Negative Attitude, and Verbal Abuse.”
Both Mithy and Nukeduck have a history of butting heads with Riot and the community. The two of them were fined $500 by Riot Games in March after screenshots of them using racial slurs in chat emerged online.
“This is a highly regrettable situation that the players can only blame themselves for,” NiP managing director Gustav M. Karto said in a statement.
“Ninjas in Pyjamas do not condone this kind of behaviour and we hope that the players take the time to learn from this incident and come back to competitive play in the future with a refreshed attitude.”
Despite the loss of these two players, NiP’s prospects are still good, especially after their recruitment of mid-laner Alex “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin from Gambit Gaming and the jungler Tri Tin “k0u” Lam.
“I did know the risk of playing with nukeduck and mithy,” Alex Ich said on Facebook. “And having them banned now, yes it’s sad, but I guess we will be fine. They are really nice guys in real life and really dedicated.”
“I guess I agree on bans but the timing isn’t really the best one for the team,” Alex Ich added.
NiP now has just 10 days to fill the empty slots before their next Challenger Series match. Alex Ich is unfazed though, and believes the team will be ready.
“I won’t give up,” Alex Ich said. “There are worse things happening in life.”