Niko “k1to” Gruhne has been suspended from the Faceit Pro League for a month after he made a racist comment during a pick-up Counter-Strike session.
Gruhne was playing a pick-up Faceit game when he called Brazilian pro Joao “felps” Vasconcellos a “fucking monkey” after getting killed by him. The moment was caught on another pro’s stream:
Vasconcellos saw the clip and tweeted at Gruhne about it. The latter responded, apologising and saying it “wasn’t meant to be serious,” to which Vasconcellos said “we have made mistakes and learned. It’s okay, you are forgiven.”
Faceit ultimately gave Gruhne a one-month ban from the Pro League for the comment. Community relations representative Milos Nedeljkovic wrote in a statement that “what happened yesterday is something that went beyond being a genuine joke among players at the point that one member could have felt being insulted on a racial base.”
Gruhne’s team, Alternate aTTaX, also gave a statement on the matter to Dot Esports. “The word is practically harmless in German and our player was unaware of any implications that the word might carry in other languages. This does of course not excuse the offense caused, but at least reveals that there was no racist intent to his actions... We will not be taking any kid of disciplinary action against [k1to]. He received a month-long FPL ban and we feel that this should be enough.”