Alfonso Aguirre Rodriguez, also known as Mithy, and Erlend Holm, also known as Nukeduck – you might recognize these names, they are two of the top League of Legends players in the world. Earlier today, its been reported that the two professional gamers have not only just been suspended from any competitive tournaments for six months, they have also been kicked from the European team, Ninjas in Pyjamas.
Ninjas in Pyjamas, NiP, was founded back 2000, they made a name for themselves from playing Counter-Strike, and since then, they became the top CS:GO team in the world. It wasn’t until 2013, that they started a League of Legends campaign, trying to replicate their success from Counter-Strike.
Two of their top League players, Milthy and Nukeduck, have been but loyal to the team for years now. However, both players have also made a name for themselves for having “extremely toxic behavior.” onGamers, a eSports gaming site, stated that both players are “two of Europe’s most controversial League figures.” This is due to their aggressive language, racial slurs, and hateful speeches while playing the popular MOBA game.
For years, Riot Games, developer and publisher of League of Legends, have tried to stop such reprehensible behavior using numerous methods. Their latest is the Tribunal System, a system that is capable of delivering crowd-source justice. This system was added in the game back 2011, how it works is that instead of the professional customer service, the gamers themselves will be able to judge and vote against players who are jerks to the community.
However, this system requires players to reach the class of Summoner Level 30, if they wish to take part in this justice system. This is so players who played the game enough and had the experience, are the ones that will judge the jerks of the community. For more information on the Tribunal System, click here.
For a while now, both Mithy and Nukeduck have repeatedly violated many of the rules from the Tribunal System by continuing harassing other players, using offensive language, and using unfair play. Scott Parkin, Riot’s eSports coordinator, described Mithy’s behavior with this statement:
In recent months, Rodriguez has exhibited extremely toxic behavior in solo queue. This behavior included, but was not limited to, in game harassment, verbal abuse, and continual use of racial slurs. In the past month, Rodriguez has been reported in over 30% of the games he played, with nearly 60% of those reports being for Offensive Language, Negative Attitude, and Verbal Abuse. During this period, his harassment score rose to be within the top 1% of all players on EUW. Additionally, he was reported over 30 times for leaving the game/going AFK.
Despite previous punishments for his toxicity, Rodriguez’s behavior has shown no improvement over the past months, even after his account became Chat Restricted.
Parkin’s statement about Nukeduck’s behavior was pretty much identical to Mithy’s, but Parkin does point out that Mithy’s “harassment score rose to be within the top 1% of all players on EUW.” It was hard for many people to find public records of these harassments, but thanks to eSports gaming site, ESports Heaven, they found a few screenshots of the chat boxes on Reddit.
Warning: These screenshots contain harsh languages that might offend many viewers.
Both players were fined five-hundred dollars shortly after these screenshots were posted on Reddit. Trying to brush off the controversy, NiP stated to ESports Heaven that:
We feel that the screenshots, taken out of a custom game, have been blown out of proportion and were posted with malicious intent towards the players in question. However we in Ninjas in Pyjamas do not condone such behaviour from our players and they have been reprimanded accordingly. We expect our players to behave like the pillars of the professional community that they should strive to be.
NiP finally ran out patience shortly after Riot’s announcement of Mithy and Nukeduck’s suspension. On their official Facebook page, NiP issued this statement:
Erlend “NukeDuck” Holm, and Alfonso “Mithy” Rodriguez have been released from Ninjas in Pyjamas
Ninjas in Pyjamas have released Erlend “NukeDuck” Holm and Alfonso “mithy” Rodriguez from our roster with immediate effect. This is as a direct result of the recent suspension they have both received from Riot due to breach of code of conduct which bans them from competition for the rest of 2014. Therefore they are unable to participate in Coke Series in 2014.
NiP will immediately start searching for suitable replacements for the two players, and will try out several options during the upcoming weeks.
Another statement from Gustav M. Karto, Managing Director of Ninjas in Pyjamas:
“This is a highly regrettable situation that the players can only blame themselves for. 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. But for now, we will unfortunately have to say goodbye to Alfonso and Erlend, who have been exceptional and loyal players of NiP for the last 9 months.”
Shortly after NiP’s decision for releasing both players, Mithy made a tweet, admitting that the ban was fair. Saying:
“I must agree I didn’t have the best behaviour so the the ban was deserved.”
Another tweet of his followed, stating:
“Since I’m banned for 6 months I’ll be looking to join teams as coach and meanwhile work on my behaviour and try and come back to the scene.”
Back in 2012, Riot had to ban one player for a entire year because he failed to improve his “toxic behavior,” even after receiving many punishments and temporary suspensions.
Riot wanted to show amateur League of Legends fans that professional gamers don’t get any sort of special treatment just because there is money on the line. Professional gamers must continually follow the rules of conduct like any other player in the community.