League of Legends

Razleplasm on representation in LoL esports: “We’re in a good spot, but we can do better”

Published: 23/Feb/2021 10:56 Updated: 23/Feb/2021 10:57

by Lauren Bergin


LCS caster Barento ‘ Razleplasm’ Mohammed has become one of League of Legends’ most iconic names. Dexerto caught up with the fan-favorite caster as part of Black History Month to chat about people of color in esports.

Critics often generalize esports as being dominated by white, straight males of a particular image. While the games themselves often feature vast array of characters from all different backgrounds, many argue that we only see the same types of faces both on broadcast and in the player position.

To help shed some light on this issue, Dexerto caught up with LCS caster and League of Legends icon Razleplasm to discuss his experience as a person of color in LoL esports.

The rise of a Legend

Riot Games
Raz is one of our favorite LoL faces, but how did he get into the game?

In discovering his passion for League of Legends, Raz’s story is pretty similar to every LoL fan out there.

“It started out with me just playing the game with friends. Naturally [I] was watching streams trying to figure out how to get better, and then I just started enjoying watching the game competitively. I started with watching North American play, then I started watching European play, wandered myself over to Chinese League of Legends… This turned into me being on a podcast called China Talk so it just spiraled from there.”

Raz has done it all. From humble origins as a writer, he went on to coach some of the biggest names in LoL as well, including Dignitas Europe. His meteoric rise is still a whirlwind to him, though, as he recalls that: “it always just spiraled. I thought it was going to just be a one-time thing just to gain experiences.”

From here came the opportunity to cast, which is clearly his true love. “The idea of entertainment plus teaching, that’s something that I really enjoy. I have a lot of fun with casting and being able to tell a story. It’s mostly so that people can know where these players came from, especially rookie players.”

Not only has Raz told other people’s stories, however, he’s etched his own into the esports history books.

Raz’s experience as a person of color

Riot Games
Raz has some pretty insane notches in his belt, including coaching Dignitas Europe.

From behind the scenes to center stage, Raz is one of the few people of color to feature on LoL broadcasts across the world.

He notes that in the professional sphere, his background “has not been an issue whatsoever. The people I’ve worked with in my times in coaching and my times in commentary have always made me feel incredibly respected. I’ve always enjoyed that about that aspect.”

“With fans, especially with anonymity on the internet, people can say what they want whether they actually believe it or not. So that aspect is difficult. You’ll always get racist messages, it happens, and the amount that you receive really depends person to person. It really just depends on how active I am in terms of being on broadcast – if it’s a large event where there’s more audiences and more eyes and all that then yeah, my DMs are there.

“For me, I know that I receive a decent amount, but I always say that I have a thick skin with it and the way I do it is, if that if that’s the first thing they reach to, I should be happy because that means they have no ammo. I know that I am myself a strong person. Growing up I’ve learned to not let it control my emotions because that’s their intent.”

One of the main places that Raz remembers experiencing racism growing up as a gamer was in the voice chat. “I remember playing SOCOM growing up and I was playing on the Southern server hilariously enough. I would speak and they knew I was black and I was like ‘wow, really!?’ I was impressed but then obviously the racism came in!”

“So for me, growing up you’d get a lot of that and I had a lot of internal searching of like, they’re trying to get a rise out of me, they’re trying to impact my day and how I feel about myself. If you ever let that impact you visibly, in terms of throwing an insult, then they’ve already won.”

Representation in LoL esports

Riot Games
LoL esports has come under fire for lack of representation.

Of late, however, League of Legends’ esports scene has come under fire for its lack of representation within its broadcast teams.

Stating that “I think the current LCS broadcast is very diverse. I don’t really see it as an issue at the time,” he clarifies that “I do think there just needs to be more people at the table. I definitely noticed that when I was in LPL.”

Referring to the period after Indiana ‘Froskurinn’ Black left the broadcast, he notes that “it is really difficult finding a women candidate, or any minority, and I think it comes down to the game we’re playing. It has a deeper issue involved and it’s a pretty hefty conversation, but I think the best way to bring up that type of community is by just making it so esports is a lot friendlier.”

“I can do my part by making the community more open and friendly for anyone that wants to find enjoyment in it, but in terms of competitive I think amateur events do a lot of good work as well.”

“The first step is loving what you do”

Riot Games
Raz is a true inspiration.

When it comes to dealing with all of this, Raz reminds us all of one thing: passion.

“The first step is loving what you do because no matter what people fling at you that’s not going to harm you. It’s a tough shield. No one’s going to get you out of a position you really love doing if you fight for it.”

“Most importantly: value the positives far more. There’s going to be a lot of love coming your way, either in the form of good friends around you, or your peers, or even just fans. I value the positivity I get from the community far more, and I blast that message whenever I can so that people outside know what the community’s really about and you can change the conversation.”

Raz is more than just a coach and just a caster. He’s an inspiration for young people of color everywhere. Reminding us all to “do what you love” and never stop fighting, there’s a reason he’s accumulated such a loyal fanbase. He beautifully epitomizes everything that young people of color with an interest in esports aspire to be.

So thank you, Raz, for being a figure that future generations will look up to. We can’t wait to see what you’ll do next, but hopefully, it involves that cheetah shirt.

Call of Duty

CDL Super Week scores & schedule: Trio of sweeps tells the story of Day 2

Published: 23/Feb/2021 23:59 Updated: 24/Feb/2021 0:12

by Albert Petrosyan


The Call of Duty League has combined Weeks 2 and 3 of Stage 1 into one massive Super Week of matches, and everything you need to watch and follow the event live can be found below.

  • ROKKR win their second in a row after ripping apart Surge.
  • Legion & Subliners get their first wins of 2021 with stunning sweeps.
  • Day 3 preview: Royal Ravens vs Empire; Thieves vs Surge; OpTic vs Ultra.

Due to the inclement weather in Texas and other parts of the United States causing power outages for a lot of pro players, the CDL opted to combine the Week 2 and 3 matches into Super Week.

Seven straight days of matches will see all 12 teams in action at least three times, and with the Stage 1 Major looming around the corner, this will be the final opportunity for teams to improve their seeding for the $500,000 tournament.

CDL Super Week: Stream

The CDL streams all of its matches exclusively on YouTube, which is where you can also find replays of matches that have already been completed.

CDL Super Week: Schedule

Super Week kicks off with a double-header on February 22 before six straight days of triple-headers between February 23-28.

Day 2: Tuesday, February 23

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Mutineers 0-3 Legion PAR 222-220 (Garrison) PAR 6-4 (Checkmate) PAR 3-1 (Raid) N/A N/A
Match Replay Subliners 3-0 Royal Ravens NY 250-151 (Garrison) NY 6-1 (Checkmate) NY 3-0 (Checkmate) N/A N/A
Match Replay Surge 0-3 ROKKR MIN 250-163 (Checkmate) MIN 6-5 (Raid) MIN 3-2 (Raid) N/A N/A

Legion & Subliners sweep their way to first wins, ROKKR stay hot vs Surge

After going 0-2 in the Opening Weekend, Paris Legion finally got their first win of 2021 at Super Week, and what a win it was. Despite being underdogs to the Mutineers, Legion pulled off a shocking sweep that featured a rare Hardpoint ending on time.

Following Paris’ script, the New York Subliners also notched their first one in the win column after sweeping London Royal Ravens in perhaps the most dominant performance we’ve seen so far in 2021.

None of the three maps were close, especially the Control, which saw NYSL shred their opponents from start to finish and not give them even a chance at making any sort of comeback. With the loss, Royal Ravens now sit at 0-2 early on in the season.

Rounding off a trio of Day 2 sweeps was Minnesota ROKKR grabbing their second win in a row after taking apart Seattle Surge 3-0. The series was closer than the final scoreline would suggest as Surge did make solid comebacks in both the S&D and Control, only to fall just short in both.

The win is ROKKR’s second in a row after their upset victory over Dallas Empire at Opening Weekend. Meanwhile, Seattle falls to 1-2, suffering already their second sweep this season.

Day 3: Wednesday, February 24

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 25)
Game 1 Royal Ravens vs Empire 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 Thieves vs Surge 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 OpTic vs Ultra 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 4: Thursday, February 25

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 26)
Game 1 ROKKR vs Subliners 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 OpTic vs Guerrillas 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 FaZe vs Mutineers 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 5: Friday, February 26

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 27)
Game 1 Thieves vs Royal Ravens 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 Ultra vs Legion 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Empire vs Subliners 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 6: Saturday, February 27

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 28)
Game 1 FaZe vs Legion 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 ROKKR vs Royal Ravens 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Ultra vs Guerrillas 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 7: Sunday, February 28

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Mar 1)
Game 1 Subliners vs Surge 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 OpTic vs Mutineers 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Empire vs Thieves 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Past scores & daily recaps

Day 1: Monday, February 22

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Guerrillas 1-3 Mutineers LAG 250-133 (Crossroads) FLA 6-3 (Miami) FLA 3-2 (Garrison) FLA 250-172 (Garrison) N/A
Match Replay Ultra 1-3 FaZe ATL 250-247 (Raid) TOR 6-3 (Raid) ATL 3-0 (Raid) ATL 250-128 (Garrison) N/A

Mutineers get first win of 2021, FaZe stay unbeaten

After losing their season-opener at CDL Opening Weekend, Florida Mutineers’ new-look lineup got their first win of 2021 with a 3-1 victory over LA Guerrillas, who now sit at 1-2. LAG won the first map in dominant fashion before the Mutineers ripped off three straight maps to secure the series.

The second match of the day was a battle of the unbeatens as Atlanta FaZe took on Toronto Ultra. The series started back-and-forth, and if it wasn’t for a clutch break at the end of the Raid Hardpoint, Atlanta may have found themselves down 0-2 early.

But things settled down after the second map as FaZe took games three and four quite comfortably to secure the 3-1 victory. The win now gives the boys in red a league-leading three wins, against just zero losses, while Ultra drop to 1-1.

CDL Super Week essentials

CDL Super Week: Format & CDL Points

  • Location: Online
  • Prize Pool: N/A
  • CDL Points: 10 per win
  • Maps & Modes:
    • Hardpoint: Checkmate, Crossroads, Garrison, Moscow, Raid
    • Search & Destroy: Checkmate, Garrison, Miami, Moscow, Raid
    • Control: Checkmate, Garrison, Raid
  • Matches are best-of-five (HP, S&D, Control, HP, S&D)

CDL Super Week: Teams & Rosters

CDL roster spotlight: Minnesota ROKKR’s new-look lineup delivered an upset victory over Dallas Empire at Opening Weekend.

All 12 teams are participating in the Week 2 event, split into the two groups that were drawn at the start of Stage 1. All teams within the same group play each other once during the Stage, for a total of five matches.

Group A

Team Roster
Dallas Empire Crimsix, Shotzzy, Huke, iLLeY
London Royal Ravens Alexx, Dylan, Seany, Zer0
Los Angeles Thieves Kenny, SlasheR, TJHaLy, Temp
Minnesota ROKKR Accuracy, Attach, Priestahh, MajorManiak
New York Subliners Clayster, Asim, Diamondcon, Mack
Seattle Surge Octane, Gunless, Prestinni, Loony

Group B

Team Roster
Atlanta FaZe Simp, Cellium, aBeZy, Arcitys
Florida Mutineers Skyz, Owakening, Slacked, Neptune
Los Angeles Guerrillas SiLLY, Assault, Apathy, Vivid
OpTic Chicago Scump, FormaL, Envoy, Dashy
Paris Legion AquA, Classic, Fire, Skrapz
Toronto Ultra Methodz, Bance, Cammy, CleanX

Make sure to check out our CDL 2021 Season hub for the latest standings, full schedule of all events, a breakdown of the season format, and more.