While gaming has had a persistent culture of trash talking for the past decade or so, one genre has perpetuated this more than most: MOBA. DotA, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, they’ve built a reputation as having an unforgiving player base. Riot Games, the developer of LoL, has made a stand in recent months in trying to clamp down on negative and abusive players and today has announced a major step on that road: banning a professional player for over a year and bricking all of his accounts for his in-game actions.
IWillDominate, the jungler for team Dignitas, was described by Riot as one of the most caustic League of Legends players, ranking in the top 0.7 per cent of the worst players in North America. Having been reported numerous times, the individual had already appeared before the game’s tribunal – where complained about players can have their in-game chat and actions viewed and judged by other players – eight times before. Despite this however, Riot has it that his harassment of other players has only got worse, rising by almost a third in the last three months.
According to the official announcement thread, many players agree that he was a very unlikeable guy when in-game. Apparently he would spend most of his time complaining about what other players did and was generally unpleasant to play with. However others have argued that Riot seems to be coming down very heavily on IWD simply because he’s a pro player.
Either way, Riot is making a very clear statement that it doesn’t want people like IWillDominate as part of its game, professional or not. While he will technically be allowed to return for Season 4 of the game, he’ll have to do so on a brand new account, so it’ll be interesting to see if he does so at all.
KitGuru Says: Riot is really pushing professional competitiveness for the same sort of level as major sporting events and ultimately that means having players that don’t make the game look bad. With these actions, Riot is stating loud and clear that players like IWD are a liability, not a benefit.