SK Gaming player Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen has been banned for three games after he had adopted a username with obvious racist connotations while playing on Taiwan’s game servers.
Johnsen came under fire yesterday from members of Taiwan’s League of Legends forums after it was revealed he’d played under the name “TaipeiChingChong.” And it wasn’t long before Taiwan news outlet Apple Daily brought the racist name to a broader audience.
Riot Games Taiwan then mandated that Johnsen publicly apologize pending further punishment.
SK Gaming did not have to wait long to hear Riot’s final decision. The three game suspension comes despite public apologies from both Johnsen and the SK Gaming organization. Riot, deeming Johnson’s behavior “severe misconduct” under its discrimination and denigration rules, also fined him $2,500.
The decision to ban Johnsen for three of the most important matches of the year was based on a history of poor behavior, not just the incident in Taiwan. According to the ruling, Johnsen “received multiple formal warnings during the 2014 LCS season regarding his interactions with other players and fans.”
Replacing Johnsen for the first three matches of competition is Berk “Gilius” Demir, member of the recently promoted team Unicorns of Love and SK Gaming’s substitute for the tournament.
For SK Gaming, what began as an unwelcome distraction has now become a full-blown competitive handicap. One week ago, Demir was playing against the best of Europe’s amateur league. In less than 24 hours, he will match up against the world’s best in front of the biggest crowds of his career. For SK’s sake, they will have to hope that both Johnsen and Demir are quick learners.
Photo by artubr/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)