Thorin: From Unfiltered To Unemployed?
It appears that the long standing e-sports journalist Duncan "Thorin" Shields shall not be making an appearance as part of the ESL analysts desk for the EMS One CS:GO finals in Katowice. Apparently, as of this morning the Counter-Strike veteran, currently working for onGamers as a senior content creator, was told that ESL would not be requiring his services following some comments he made on Tuesday night's episode of Unfiltered.
While on air the e-sports veteran made some comments about Polish people that were deemed to be inappropriate for someone who was then to represent the ESL's interests at an event held in Katowice, one where they always enjoy a large fan presence. The comments were made early in the show and were seemingly throwaway but were deemed to be too derogatory for his position to remain tenable.
The offending quotes were as follows:
"Well it’s in Poland and I think the tickets are pretty cheap so I assume it will be sold out.. Because what the fuck else is going on in Poland? And they’ve got that existential hole of being Polish to try and fill with some esports.”
“Maybe, it’s like when you have the Olympics somewhere in Africa and they can all pretend they’re part of the developed world for two weeks, and then everyone just leaves and they’re still in the dirt.”
“Poland is one of the worst countries in Europe, bro. It’s one of those countries where when they opened up that Schengen Agreement for European countries, where if you’re in the EU you can move freely between countries.. Like, the second they opened that up everyone in Poland was just like “Cool, let’s get the fuck out of Poland” and they just went to the next countries.”
“Put it this way, it’s another place also where there’s constantly news stories where at their football games they have straight up racism aimed at all black players, with the whole crowd like chanting stuff or throwing banana peels. That happened like 50 years ago in the developed European countries - that shit happens, like, now in Poland.”
“If you hold the event somewhere shitty, then it’s going to seem awesome and loads more people will come.”
The situation was compounded by the fact that all final decisions about the broadcast were being overseen by Michal "Carmac" Blicharz, not only a Polish national but someone who has been committed to bringing e-sports events to Poland since he took over the Intel Extremes Masters brand.
Although there has been no official comment made at the time of writing this, we have attempted to reach out to both parties about the incident and will provide updates about the story as it unfolds.
Paul "ReDeYe" Chaloner, Head of Commentary for ESL, released the following official statement through Reddit:
"Duncan ‘Thorin’ Shields has been removed from the analyst/commentary position for the EMS One Katowice broadcast due to his comments about Poland that he made on a recent podcast ‘Unfiltered’.
ESL does not stand by or tolerate acts of racism, xenophobia or other forms of discrimination and does not wish to be associated or employ those who make any such comments. We are deeply upset that a long time member of the esports community would display such ignorance and make highly inappropriate comments about an entire nation.
Thorin’s tirade has offended not only the live audience of the show he was hired to work on, but the entire Polish production team that he was going to be a part of.
I have spoken to Thorin directly this morning. It has been made clear to him that his comments were totally unacceptable and inconsistent with ESL’s ethos.
It is unfortunate that we have to do this on the first day of the EMS One Katowice show, but we are hard at work to replace Thorin on the show and rest assured are determined to bring a great show regardless."