Schalke 04 Esports came out and defended their action to suspend their League of Legends jungler Ismaïl “Isma” Boualem. The organization made the initial decision just hours before the team’s first match at EU Masters 2022.
Schalke had not provided clear reasons for the exemption at the time and it was Isma himself who tweeted the organisation’s motivation behind the decision.
Isma explains that he was called by Schalke’s esports manager and told about his bench hours before the EU Masters game. The manager had indicated that Isma’s toxic behavior in the solo queue was the main reason for the bench.
After the announcement of this decision, many League professional players and members of the community came out and criticized Schalke’s decision. Some have called this punishment very severe for the player. On the other hand, some even said that Nyro, the Challenger Katarina that Isma had been toxic to, is an equally toxic player and should be banned as well.
Responding to all these reactions, Schalke finally addressed this issue directly. In his statement, he said that an insult to League could have “a different weight than in the world where we operate Schalke 04”.
But they also state clearly that such behavior is not acceptable. “We do not support hate and toxic behavior. Everyone at Schalke – player, manager, staff, employees, board – is being asked to internalize this. We also put it in a mission statement,” Schalke said.
The organization said it has worked against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination for a long time and is still learning how to fight them. He ended his speech with strong words, saying, “The things we say online have a very real impact on people. This is real life and the things we say matter. Please keep this in mind.
Isma’s suspension did not favor Schalke League team in any way. The jungler’s bench forced top laner Lennart “Jaeger” Warkuss into the role while backup support Bastian “EliteJoint” Ahrens now plays as the top laner.
Unsurprisingly, these changes proved disastrous and Schalke lost consecutive games in the EU Masters tournament.