Pham “Zeros” Minh Loc has been suspended indefinitely from all League of Legends (LoL) competitions in Vietnam after inappropriate statements made during a livestream.
The organizers of Vietnam Championship Series (VCS) made a decision to suspend Zeros, a member of the SBTC eSports gaming team, on Monday.
“Realizing how serious the situation was, especially in the current pandemic, the organizers decided to permanently ban Zeros from VCS. The decision will take effect immediately,” VCS wrote on their website.
Shortly after receiving the punishment from VCS, Zeros, a three-time LoL national champion, was also fired by SBTC eSports.
Zeros had violated the regulations of VCS by making inappropriate statements regarding VCS, Riot (game publisher) and League of Legends.
Previously, in a livestream, Zeros had said: “I hope the pandemic would get worse so Vietnam could not attend the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) tournament.”
MSI is the second biggest LoL tournament of the year, with the participation of champions from all regions. The MSI 2021 will be held from May 6 to 22 in Iceland.
The statement was made after SBTC eSports lost the chance to compete for the national championship since the team had placed outside the top four by the end of the group stage.
In 2020, MSI was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During LoL World Championship 2020, two Vietnamese teams, GAM eSports and Team Flash, could not travel to China for the same reason.
The VCS decision has created two streams of opinion on social media. Most considered the penalty suitable, while some saw it as severe.
If Zeros wants to continue his professional career, he must play for a team abroad. In the past, he had an agreement to join a Chinese team. However, due to Covid-19, the deal was off.
Zeros, 21, has played for many strong LoL teams in Vietnam and won three national championships. He also took part in MSI and World Championship before. During his career, Zeros has been fined by VCS many times for his inappropriate acts.
LoL is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game launched in 2009. Players control a ‘champion’ with special abilities and battle against a team of other players or AI-controlled champions in a pre-defined arena. The goal is to destroy the other team’s ‘nexus,’ a structure located at the heart of base which is protected by other defensive structures. The game is a hit in Vietnam, and its teams have risen in global prominence.