Popular streamer TF Blade banned from Twitch for “Racial Slurs”

League of Legends streamer and Team Liquid’s top-sub, Ashkan “TF Blade” Homayouni, received a 30 day ban after the platform interpreted him as saying the “n-word” live on stream.

The Team Liquid streamer, known for his insane talents on champion Irelia, was streaming on Twitch towards the end of a losing game, when he allegedly used the “n-word” in describing his team mates.

Unlike the similar “Black-Blue Dress / White-Gold Dress” image that went viral a few years ago, the esports community all unanimously agree that Twitch has made a huge mistake in their decision to ban TF Blade for 30 days. Team Liquid owner, Steve Arhancet, has also reached out to Twitch directly and demanded that they not only remove the ban, but publicly apologize for this entire situation.

Former Riot Games caster Aidan “Zirene” Moon also commented on the conversation on Twitter, referring to the entire situation as “awful” and stating that “[Twitch] are directly calling him a liar”.

We’re unsure if an automated process is to blame in detecting the incorrect phrase in the initial instance, or if there was a manual step at Twitch that made this mistake. One thing is for sure though, and that is that the community are near unanimous in their viewpoint on what was said.

After some back and forth messages between TF Blade and Twitch, they responded by reducing the ban to 7 days. The following response is an except from an email thread that was posted by TF Blade on Twitlonger.

Just heard back. I’ve been told that after you submitted your appeal, to be as objective as possible they had numerous people listen to the clip, and unfortunately they all also heard the N word. Even after asking to listen for idiots, they couldn’t hear it. Because of that, they were originally leaning toward leaving the full 30 day suspension. That being said, I relayed your response, and highlighted your history, specifically your lack of previous infractions, and after further review, the appeals team has agreed to reduce your suspension from 30 days down to 7 days.

From this extract we can see that “numerous people” internally at Twitch agreed that offensive language was used, even though there is a resounding contradiction in what the public hears. Still not admitting fault, Twitch strangely reduced the ban, indicating that they must know to some extent that they made the wrong decision. It’s a small win.

By banning TF Blade from Twitch, they are effectively nullifying his ability to earn through the platform and are putting his sponsorship deals at risk. For such a popular streamer and prominant face in the League of Legends scene, such an accusation, regardless of whether it’s based on fact, will affect his status and perception

It will be interesting to see how this case affects Twitch’s method of ban detection moving forward, especially pertaining to such prominent figures of the community.