It is nice to see that even pro players are not excluded from fines and punishments for their toxic behavior. Pro players are akin to professional athletes in the e-Sports community and sometimes it seems that they can get away with toxicity and negative behavior. However, Riot makes sure that this isn’t so.
Multiple high profile League of Legends players are regularly flagged with fines and warnings for their toxic behavior. With the World Championship underway, all the pro players are boot camping in Korea’s solo queue and Riot are doing routine behavior checks on each and every pro player that’s in the World Championship. This has resulted in 12 players receiving formal warnings and 4 players receiving fines.
Akin to a yellow card in traditional soccer, these players have been given formal warnings and if such behavior is reported again, they will be receiving an enhanced penalty. This time, the routine check-a-tron spat out 16 pro players and coaching staff while they were practicing in South Korea’s Solo queue. Out of the 16 players, 12 received warnings for various levels of toxicity, griefing and negative behavior in-game.
Riot reviewed each instance of negative behavior and these 12 players were found exhibited abusive language towards teammates. Although the frequency was fairly low, this was not what Riot expected out of a pro player’s conduct and as such, they were not issued a fine or ban. They were just given a formal warning.
- Daniele “Jiizuke” Di Mauro (VIT)
- Amadeu “Attila” Carvalho (VIT)
- Minkook “Dreams” Han (VIT)
- Luka “Perkz” Perkovic (G2)
- Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss (G2)
- Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen (C9)
- Stanislav “Lodik” Kornelyuk (GMB)
- Zhen-Ning “Ning” Gao (IG)
- Uijin “Rookie” Song (IG)
- Li “4LivcloveR” Zhe (EDG)
- Jaeha “Mowgly” Lee (AFR)
- Hyesung “Comet” Lim (AFR)
Not so akin to a red card in traditional soccer, these four players were fined for negative behavior a level above the other 12 players. Riot clearly felt that some of their behaviors violated the summoner’s code and they were lacking the expected etiquette of just plain good sportsmanship.
The highest profile of these players, Jian “Uzi” Zihao, was also fined the most. Uzi was fined USD 2000 for ‘griefing towards teammates’ and ‘intentionally feeding’. Additionally, he was caught with an account not owned by him. The account could be shared or purchased, an act that is not allowed in LoL Terms of Service. It is also possible that he was boosting another player which is a much more serious offence but Riot could not find concrete evidence of that yet.
Uzi have always been known for being very vocal and passionate in-game. There has been instances of strong and/or harsh words towards his team during a heated game but when griefing and intentionally feeding are involved, Riot had to step in to uphold the Summoner’s Code.
Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov of Gambit eSports had multiple games reported for toxicity in South Korea’s solo queue. Diamondprox also received a formal warning from the LCL earlier this year. Pair the two warning together and you get a fine of USD 1,000 for Diamondprox.
A retired Starcraft player turned League Of Legends head coach of Afreeca Freecs, Yeonsung “iloveoov” Choi was reported in an astounding 70% of his Solo queue game in September. While there is no feeding intentionally in games, his high level of reported games and a previous disciplinary incident in the LCK earned him a USD 1,500 fine.
Similarly to iloveoov, Seunglok “TheShy” Kang was reported in multiple of his games although not to the level of iloveoov. This negative behavior of intentionally feeding and griefing resulted in a lower fine from iloveoov of USD 1,000.
With the World Championship underway, players have to be aware of the spotlight being placed heavily on them. Audiences from around the world are watching, and such, pro players need to be placed on a higher standard with harsher penalties as they are able to influence the mass majority of players watching the World Championship.
We as players, pro or not, must work together to ensure that League Of Legends community foster good sportsmanship in the rift. There is nothing better than a community with high empathy and the pros must lead with example.