NiP Management Explain "Racist" Screenshots
For a few days now screenshots of two players from the Ninjas In Pyjamas team using racist and anti-Semitic language have been circulating on various social media outlets. In one NiP's support player Alfonso "mithy" Aguirre Rodriguez uses a racial epithet and in the other Erlend "Nukeduck" Vĺtevik Holm makes reference to gassing Jewish people. Naturally the community who have seen the offending screenshots have reacted with outrage.
The screenshots themselves were originally posted in a Reddit thread where it the temperament of the players was being discussed. They were used as examples of their typical solo-queue behaviour. However, the screenshots themselves do not come from solo-queue but rather from private games where the players had invited those who wanted to take part. The players have said privately that the screenshots were simply "a joke", an extreme example of vulgar behaviour that was meant to parody the typical solo-queue competitor. They have also expressed their disappointment that someone would have leaked screenshots of private conversations into the public domain.
This hasn't spared them an internal backlash. Their management team, who had already gone through a tumultuous time of late with other controversy and the changing of their CEO Niklas Fischier, have moved quickly to discipline the pair. They released the following statement:
"We feel that the screenshots, taken out of a custom game, have been blown out of proportion and were posted with malicious intent towards the players in question. However we in Ninjas in Pyjamas do not condone such behaviour from our players and they have been reprimanded accordingly. We expect our players to behave like the pillars of the professional community that they should strive to be."
Whether or not any further disciplinary action from Riot will be forthcoming is yet to be seen. With the team currently competing in the Coke Zero Challenger Series there is still a chance that Riot might want to discipline the players further. In the past such language and behaviour has carried penalties, especially where professional players are concerned. We have reached out for comment from Riot but as of yet have not heard anything back.