Riot Games Turkey has made a public statement regarding a story that shook the Turkish League of Legends scene earlier this year. In February, openly gay player Mustafa Kemal "Dumbledoge" Gökseloğlu suddenly left his team SuperMassive, stating he suffered systemic bullying and homophobia from his teammates. After conducting an investigation, Riot Games concluded that in the past twelve months, no rules were broken by any of the accused, including main culprit Berkay "Zeitnot" Aşıkuzun.
Those who provably did utter homophobic slurs—Dumbledoge shared screenshots in his original statement—did so in 2017, which falls outside Riot Games' punishable time period, as it happened too long ago. In other words: according to Riot Games' rules, the crime has aged.
In their statement, Riot Games Turkey acknowledges that their decision won't go down well with everybody: "We are aware that the decision we make will disappoint many people, but we would like to clarify one issue in order to give confidence to our fans and to be honest with our players: If a similar private meeting took place today and reported within 12 months, the issue would be investigated and then the penalties specified in the Global Esports Penalty List could be applied."
The original statement made by Dumbledoge made emotions run high in the Turkish League of Legends scene. Fans rallied to support Dumbledoge, and called for Zeitnot to be banned. It prompted responses from several of those accused of using homophobia. Zeitnot himself responded too, saying: "I have never used a discourse that can be perceived as discrimination in any sense in any discussion. I categorically reject accusations and implications of hate speech."
The story reached Western League of Legends too. G2 Esports coach Fabian "GrabbZ" Lohmann commented: "I just want to make sure that the G2 Army and the LEC should make a stronger stance about this. Esports should be an open field for any race, gender or sexuality, so I hope that the G2 army will be inclusive of all people."
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.