A British esports journalist and commentator has been fired after going on an anti-Polish rant during a live Web talk show Tuesday night.
The journalist, Duncan “Thorin” Shields, was slated as one of the main commentators for CounterStrike: Global Offensive at the Intel Extreme Masters World Championships in Katowice, Poland this week.
Shields, who also works as a senior content producer for the U.S.-based esports news site OnGamers, made the comments on Chris “ChanmanV” Chan's “Unfiltered.” Shields was on to talk about his upcoming role in the World Championships when he went on started to rail against the Polish country and people.
“Poland is one of the worst countries in Europe, bro,” he said.
Well [the World Championships are] in Poland and I think the tickets are pretty cheap so I assume it will be sold out.. Because what the fuck else is going on in Poland? And they’ve got that existential hole of being Polish to try and fill with some esports.”
The second they opened [the Schengen Agreement] up, everyone in Poland was just like ‘Cool, let’s get the fuck out of Poland’ and they just went to the next countries.”
Maybe, it’s like when you have the Olympics somewhere in Africa and they can all pretend they’re part of the developed world for two weeks, and then everyone just leaves and they’re still in the dirt.”
ESL explained the reason behind their decision: “Thorin’s tirade has offended not only the live audience of the show he was hired to work on, but the entire Polish production team that he was going to be a part of.”
ESL does not stand by or tolerate acts of racism, xenophobia or other forms of discrimination and does not wish to be associated or employ those who make any such comments. We are deeply upset that a long time member of the esports community would display such ignorance and make highly inappropriate comments about an entire nation.”
The tirade wasn't surprising for those who follow Shields closely. He has a reputation for making risky comments. One Redditor compared him to American comedian Louis C.K.: "It's part of his act and it's funny so just go with it and enjoy it and try not to take it too seriously.”
Another countered: “[Louis C.K.] would never fall into xenophobia and bashing an entire nation.”
Shields did not immediately respond to a request to comment on this article.
Screengrab via Thooorin/YouTube