Professional League of Legends Player at the Center of Racist Allegations

by Matt Best

While video games are played competitively and are taken seriously on the professional side of things, we often have to remind ourselves that behind every champion is a human being just like you and I.

YoDa, from team Red Canids might need a reminder of this. It was pointed out in a now deleted tweet that he said, "Ja passei gritando Flango no quarto de hotel dos japoronga aqui e BR full trab flw," which when translated is a serious racial slur against Japanese players at MSI

This may have been premeditated as two months ago, Brazillian players were spotted saying that they wanted to troll MSI's Korean pro players. Translated, the text said, "Guys, as y'all know MSI is going to be here in BR, so faker is coming to our server what do you guys think to make a troll barrier around Platinum 5, whoever plays with the gringos will troll, so they will struggle to climb up on SoloQ ladder then our server will be recognized as the one with the better players on soloQ."

Our person in question, YoDa, was then clipped on stream supporting the idea in Portuguese.

According to James Bates, WWG's League of Legends Writer and Analyst, this needs to be punished. "There's nothing to argue here. If you're a nobody, you can make jokes about whatever the hell you want. When you're paid to represent a brand, you can't," said Bates. "The question isn't whether YODA is racist or not, the question is whether he made himself look that way and negatively impacted his team's brand and Riot's brand. That answer is yes, so he should be punished just as harshly as historical examples have been." Examples in the past include Svenskeren's comments during Season 4 Worlds and recently some casters comments towards Bengi. "If I can't drop an F-bomb in an article, what makes him think he should be allowed to make crude comments like this on his social media?"

The common consensus is that YoDa is just a loud mouth who caters to his immature audience. Catering to an audience is no excuse for being racist and pushing slurs upon a group of people. Bates is right. If you're in the public eye, you're seen as an influencer. As soon as you do something like that, somebody will think it's acceptable to do so. Someone will think it's okay to be racist because "It's just a joke". It doesn't matter if it's not a majority of people who take this mindset because as soon as one person is affected, you've done your damage. It blows my mind that somebody hailing from the host country of the tournament would do this. You're representing not only your team at this point, but also your country. As far as I'm concerned, this is a punishable offense and YoDa needs to grow up or expect his spotlight to shut off quickly.

He has since deleted the original tweet and apologized subsequently in tweets that are now deleted.

By Matt Best

Matt Best is the Lead On Air Host and Producer for WWG. He has spent his professional career submerged in both the traditional sports world as well as esports. As one of the only Canadians at WWG, if you want to tilt Matt, just bring up awful Canadian stereotypes.