Brazilian League of Legends (LoL) competitive player Felipe “YoDa” Noronha has been suspended following a racially derogatory message sent over his personal Twitter account this past Thursday.
YoDa, who was set to play at the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) today with his team, RED Canids, has been issued a 3-game suspension and fined $2,000 for his racist Tweet.
The message itself reads: “Ja passei gritando Flango no quarto de hotel dos japoronga aqui e BR full trab flw.” Though seemingly nonsensical to non-Portuguese speakers, the message roughly translates to: “I’ve been screaming Chicken in the hotel room of the japoronga here and BR full work flw.” Native Brazilians will recognize the usage of the term “japoronga” as a racial slur against Japanese people, as well as the intentional misspelling of “frango” with “flango” – again, a slur against the Japanese and their stereotypical mispronunciation of hard ‘R’s.
Riot Games cited rules 9.1.2 and 9.2.4 in their announcement of the suspension, which cover a participant’s usage of profanity, hate speech, and discriminatory or denigrating remarks. In an address towards possible criticism over the inconvenient timeliness of their ban, Riot answered in their Q&A that:
“As we’ve set the expectation previously, we address disciplinary infractions immediately upon investigation and determination of transgression. In this case, the offense was committed shortly before MSI; suspending Noronha immediately is consistent with previous punishments and is appropriate to our expectations of pro player behavior.”
While some have defended YoDa’s antics as nothing more than those of a harmless troll, the impact of his poorly timed Tweet will likely be felt soon enough by his team, who will be forced to substitute YoDa in the upcoming MSI play-in matches.