Two League of Legends Championship Series players suspended for "extremely toxic behavior"

Andy Chalk at

Riot Games has suspended two Challenger Series players, Alfonso Aguirre "Mithy" Rodriguez and Erlend "Nukeduck" Holm, for repeatedly engaging in "extremely toxic behavior" during games. The League of Legends developer said in its suspension ruling that both players have been punished previously over similar issues but have "shown no improvement" in their conduct.

Professional gaming is no place for the thin-skinned, but even by its sometimes harsh standards, the conduct of Rodriguez and Holm has proven intolerable. According to the LCS report, Rodriguez habitually engaged in "in-game harassment, verbal abuse, and continual use of racial slurs," and was reported in more than 30 percent of the games he played over the past month. His harassment score during that period placed him in the top one percent of all players on EUW; he was also reported for leaving games or going AFK more than 30 times.

Holm's report isn't much better. He too was cited for in-game harassment and verbal abuse, but "general toxicity" took the place of casual racism, and while the number of games in which he was reported was slightly lower than that of Rodriguez—"nearly 30 percent" instead of "more than"—the percentage of reports for "offensive language, negative attitude and verbal abuse" was actually higher.

Both Rodriguez and Holm have "consistently engaged in behavior which violates the letter and spirit of the Summoner’s Code," the analysis states. Their tendency to engage in verbal abuse and offensive behavior, and racial insults in the case of Rodriguez, "is unacceptable for any player (even if provoked)." Because their violations have continued "in a persistent and systematic fashion" despite previous sanctions, both players have been suspended from League Championship Series and Challenger Series play until the end of the 2014.

Shortly after the suspension was announced, the two players were cut loose by their team, Ninjas in Pyjamas. "This is a highly regrettable situation that the players can only blame themselves for," it said in a statement posted on Facebook. "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."

Despite NiP's claim of zero tolerance for such behavior, the actions of Rodriguez and Holm are nothing new. As reported by onGamers, both players were fined $500 in March for using "offensive, racist language" in an LoL game lobby.