League of Legends: YoDa's Punishment Regarding Racist Comments

by Matt Best

(Photo: lolesports)

Related: YoDa at the Center of Racist Allegations

After being in the public spotlight in regards to his racially charged comments, punishment for Felipe "YoDa" Noronha from team Red Canids has been laid down. In a now deleted tweet 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.

In an official ruling by Riot Games, YoDa has been punished as follows:

  • 3-game suspension (three games will be served during MSI rather than CBLOL)
  • $2,000 USD fine

The ruling said, "We expect professional players to maintain good behavior in and out of game, and have zero tolerance for this kind of racially derogatory language. Although Noronha does not have any prior history of toxicity or other discipline infractions, pro players should demonstrate respect to other players and their cultures, and these actions clearly violated that principle."

YoDa violated rule 9.1.2 - Profanity and Hate Speech, as well as 9.2.4 - Discrimination and Denigration.

Since the comments have been put forth, comparisons have been made to Svenskeren's case during Worlds 2014 and Road's during Worlds 2016. Riot addressed the comparisons and said, "This specific offense was fairly similar to that of Svenskeren in 2014, albeit lacking the history of toxicity that helped to inform that ruling. It’s a more severe offense than Road’s given the nature of the language used, which is why the suspension was held at three games vs Road’s one-game penalty. In all three cases, the general principle was consistent (offensive/inappropriate language), and the variance is based on the specific severity of the offense, hence a punishment that is more severe than Road but slightly less severe than Svenskeren. It’s also worth noting that the ecosystem is vastly different now than it was in 2014, and an offense like that committed by Svenskeren, paired with a history like the one he held at that time, would result in a larger fine today."

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.