Professional Player Banned from League of Legends
Riot Games took another step forward recently when they announced the suspension of professional League of Legends player Christian “IWillDominate” Riviera, of Team Dignitas. He is no longer able to compete in the game for one year. Prior to this suspension, IWillDominate had been warned multiple times on eight separate occasions. Such offences include in-game harassment, verbal abuse, offensive language, and negative attitude. One of the darker sides of League of Legends is the perception of the toxic player community behind it. Riot Games instituted the tribunal system for players to police their peers and recently established the Honor system to have players reward other players for positive attitudes and behavior.
It’s understandable that companies like Riot would be hesitant to drop ban hammers on rockstars like IWillDominate, as they can help attract both new players and viewers. But this decision sends a new, clear message: if you’re a pro, with big companies sponsoring you, it’s time to start thinking about the image and reputation you’re projecting. Just because you’re getting paid extra in endorsements doesn’t mean you can act however you wish. Professional players, whether they like it or not, are the ones in a role model position. Everything they do is going to be under a type of community spotlight and it’s not possible to merely hide in the shadows of anonymity anymore or brush it aside thinking that there will be no consequence.
Riviera expressed his remorse with the suspension and apologized to the community:
“Today I was informed by Riot that I will be suspended for 1 year of the Season 3 Championship Series. Although the ruling is extremely tough, I agree with Riot that player sportsmanship is a serious matter, and I want to apologize to anyone that I’ve offended in-game and my fans. I fully understand that pro players are viewed as role models and should act accordingly. I’d like to thank my teammates and the whole Dignitas organization for the amazing year that I have spent with them and wish the team the best of luck going into season 3. Personally, I will not let this end my dreams of being a professional League of Legends player. During my suspension I intend to keep my mechanics in top form and remain a competitive jungler. After my suspension I hope to rejoin the championship series and once again compete at the highest level. League of Legends is my life, and I will do everything in my power to play as long as possible.”
Source: IWillDominate apology on Reddit
With the Season 3 Championship Series expected to debut soon, Riot Games is taking a sterner stance towards toxic behavior. This ban is expected to send a loud message to the community that enough is enough. No one is above reproach. In fact, a new division has been created specifically to address foul play and griefs. They’re called the PB&J team (or Player Behaviour and Justice Team, not the peanut butter and jelly team) and their responsibility is to examine the trends of online players. PhD researchers develop models to help track behavior and that information is used to help incentivize positive attitudes.
With IWillDominate being suspended and released from Team Dignitas, it is currently not known who will assume the jungler role for Team Dignitas in the next season.