Ninja Battles Week 1 took place last Thursday, providing viewers with one of the better competitive Fortnite tournaments in recent memory – Flopper heal-offs aside. With Arena Trios now in the game, the Ninja Battles series looks to only get more competitive.
There were a couple of controversies that arose after the event – both of which were self-inflicted by the participants. The more glaring of the two involved TSM pro, Anthony ‘ZexRow’ Colandro, who embarked on a cuss-filled rant following his team’s win.
ZexRow issued an official apology for the outburst, but not before he was banned from the tournament by Ninja, himself. As the days went on, it became clear that some fans were calling for his organization, TSM, to drop him. ZexRow even tweeted that he’d ask about leaving TSM over his statements.
On May 29, TSM’s CEO, Andy Dinh, released a blog post that addressed the ZexRow situation. “We are extremely disappointed in the comments made by Anthony ‘ZexRow’ Colandro and take this matter very seriously,” Dinh wrote.
“Effective immediately, he has been fined one month’s salary. His behavior was absolutely inappropriate, and does not represent the values of TSM or our brand partners.”
The statement went on to say that TSM was providing ZexRow with professional counseling and training, “helping him to work on how he conducts himself – both publicly and privately.”
Dinh’s post concluded by saying that TSM has a zero-tolerance policy for such behavior and that the organization will “be forced to part ways if something like this should occur again in the future. We believe in Zex, and have faith that with serious personal reflection and focus, he can move forward from this.”
This was, clearly, a learning experience for a young pro gamer. What he said may not have been the worst thing a gamer has said, but it showed a complete lack of professionalism and appreciation for the moment. Hopefully, he will take this opportunity to grow both professionally and personally.