Hunter C. July 7, 2019
A racism scandal has hit the Fortnite esports scene
Competitive Fortnite player Erik “Bloodx” Guttormsen has left Eleven Gaming after he was accused of using racial slurs by Issa “Issa” Rahim of Ghost Gaming. Bloodx announced the news on Twitter.
“I am sorry to my fans, friends, family and Eleven Gaming for the events that have transpired over the last 3 days,” Bloodx said. “This is simply too much for anyone to take and because of the comments that were made against me, I have mutually decided to part ways with Eleven Gaming so this no longer negatively impacts anyone associated with me. They are my family and a team that believed in me from early on and for that I owe them a lot, they just do not deserve this negative attention."
The allegations came during a lengthy discussion on Twitter over aim assist on controllers in Fortnite and how Issa might have abused this in his professional run. After criticizing Issa, the Ghost Gaming player responded by posting what appears to be a Discord message from Bloodx that contains the N-word.
The Norwegian was silent for days after but denied any wrongdoing in his first response to the allegations. When he announced his split from Eleven Gaming, he added that he is “in shock that someone would intentionally try to ruin [his] name and career from comments that are so far from values [he believes] in.” Eleven Gaming confirmed the news of the split on Twitter.
This is an ugly situation that involves one of Europe’s former standout players. Bloodx posted strong placements in the EU Summer Skirmish series and Dreamhack Summer 2018, taking second place in both. Though he was incredibly successful in 2018, he has fallen off in 2019. Bloodx failed to qualify for the Fortnite World Cup and a slice of its $30 million pool, making the loss of his sponsor an even more bitter pill to swallow.
Still, precedent has not been kind to esports professionals who use racial epithets, regardless of the title. League of Legends player Alfonso "Mithy" Aguirre Rodríguez received a ban for toxic behavior including the use of racial epithets in 2014, with many other players being punished in kind in the years since. More recently, TNC Predator Dota 2 player Carlo "Kuku" Palad was banned from two prominent tournaments including a major for use of a slur during a pub game.
Though Bloodx’s competitive career will continue on, he’s in a spot where he will basically need to start over from scratch.