Irish esports organisation Nuclear Storm Gaming (NSG) have dropped their League of Legends team after some of their former players made transphobic comments in the Twitch chat.
NSG were playing in the Square One (SQ1, logo pictured) tournament when two of their players, VayneGod and UnknownSwede, were found to have made the comments towards LaggerN, a player for UK esports organisation Absolved. Both VayneGod and UnknownSwede have been permanently banned from the tournament.
VayneGod says he was responding to derogatory comments made about his girlfriend by LaggerN, which LaggerN also addressed on Twitter.
in the heat of the moment I, regretfully, responded to in very poor manner. I am not justifying what i said and take full responsibility for my actions. Once again, sorry to all the parties involved.— VayneGodLol (@VayneGodLoL) April 19, 2020
It’s my first time playing in this league and I had no connection to anyone. But being called out for so long I had so much anger in me and sadly, called a players girlfriend, ugly. It was out of anger and I’ve felt like I’ve been targeted for so long for no reason. (2/2)— Mads Sørensen (@LaggerN) April 19, 2020
NSG stated to Esports News UK that the team were technically dropped from NSG after the semi-final, before the incident in question, and claim that VayneGod and UnknownSwede were not NSG players when their comments were made.
SQ1 organisers acted swiftly and permanently banned VayneGod and UnknownSwede from their tournament, for breaking section 6.2.4 of their rulebook, which states that team members may not offend ‘on account of race, skin colour… gender, sexual orientation’ and more.
SQ1 said in a Twitlonger: “During the stream of the semi-finals between ABV v STR, there were several targeted comments of transphobic nature and this is not something we approve of in the slightest.
“This type of behaviour is not acceptable from anyone, especially a team captain. We would like to underline that there is no valid reason anyone should be the target of this type of harassment or insults. We will not accept nor allow it, under any circumstance.”
The team were also disqualified from the SQ1 spring split and their 3rd/4th place decider was forfeit.
NSG management responded with the following statements:
Absolved management put out the following statement via a Twitlonger post: “During the course of our SQ1 League season, there were consistently negative comments in Twitch chat from NSG players towards our ADC player, LaggerN. We did not respond to this because we did not want to create unnecessary drama. However, during our match today there were again, many negative comments/attacks from NSG players towards LaggerN throughout the end of the series.
“We do not like drawing this type of attention towards our organisation but we have to set the record straight. LaggerN has the full support of our organisation and we will continue to defend him and offer him support, should he need it.”
Esports News UK understands NSG’s players had been released before the incident, and that the other former NSG LoL players didn’t side with VayneGod and UnknownSwede, meaning these other players may have an opportunity to play again for NSG in the future.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.