League of Legends stars Uzi, iloveoov and more fined for toxic behavior
Riot Games just announced another round of warnings and fines for 16 pro players and coaching staff -- including for the golden boy of Chinese esports, Uzi.
But crucially, none of them were given bans, with the group stage of the League of Legends World Championship starting on Wednesday.
As a competitive multiplayer game, League of Legends struggles with toxicity or bad behavior in-game. Players sometimes intentionally die (known as feeding) to spite their teammates, or use the in-game chat to hurl insults or abusive language at other players.
Twelve players were given formal warnings to knock it off and stop flaming in chat, and at least four players were fined for repeat offenses.
The four that were fined include:
Royal Never Give Up ADC, Jian “Uzi” Zihao: US$2,000
Griefing teammates, intentionally feeding, playing on account that didn’t belong to him through account sharing or purchased account.
Afreeca Freecs Head Coach, Yeonsung “iloveoov” Choi: US$1,500
Negative behavior, high rate of reports, and prior disciplinary history in the LCK.
Invictus Gaming Top Laner, Seunglok “TheShy” Kang: US$1,000
Negative behavior, intentional feeding and toxic language
Gambit Esports Jungler, Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov: US$1,000 fine
Negative behavior, and prior disciplinary history in the LCL
The 12 who got warnings are:
Jiizuke (VIT), Attila (VIT), Dreams (VIT), Perkz (G2), Hjarnan (G2), Svenskeren (C9), Lodik (GMB), Ning (IG), Rookie (IG) 4LivcloveR (EDG), Mowgly (AFR), Comet (AFR)
There has been a history of pro players getting in-game suspensions during Worlds. The most recent one being Dire Wolves’ jungler Shernfire, who was suspended for two of his team’s play-in games last week.
Riot Games explained that all those previous suspensions were given for racist or discriminatory speech, and so warranted a heavier penalty.
In its statements for pro player penalties, Riot Games points out it expects “professional players to maintain good behavior in and out of game and to demonstrate respect to other players and their cultures”.
That higher standard for pro-players can result in steep bans for any transgressors. Back in 2012, Team Dignitas’ IWillDominate was given a one year ban from the League of Legends Championship Series for toxic behavior.
And in 2013, EU player Jensen was given a lifetime ban from all Riot Games affiliated LoL tournaments for DDOS attacks on other players and abusive behavior.
Both players have since been allowed back into the competitive scene after Riot Games decided they’ve reformed.
Getting any harsher penalties during this stage of Worlds could make or break the team’s chances. And now, as we prepare to head to the Worlds’ group stage, players need to make sure they’re at the top of their performance, including their in-game behavior.
The LCK’s first seed kt Rolster will be facing NA LCS’ first seed Team Liquid on Wednesday.