Riot Games, makers of League of Legends, has made the rather weighty decision to ban the pro player IWillDominate of Team Dignitas from the game… for life. The player has had increased complaints filed against him in recent months of what Riot describes as "toxic behavior". This ban will end the player's career early, and undoubtedly cause Team Dignitas some issues in the new season.
Harsh news from the League of Legends community today – player IWillDominate of pro team Team Dignitas has officially been banned. According to Riot's public message on their League of Legends forum, “IWillDominate is ineligible to play in the League of Legends Championship Series for a period of one year. This suspension shall commence immediately. In addition, all other existing known accounts used by IWillDominate are permanently banned.” The ban was due to, as Riot put it, IWillDominate's “toxic behavior” – listed more formally as in-game harassment, verbal abuse, offensive language and negative attitude.
Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera is (or was) the assigned jungler for Team Dignitas – a top ranking and highly respected team. Christian has only been with the team since January, but they've seen their share of victories together. Now it seems that they've seen their last.
“We take sportsmanship and player behavior very seriously, and we fundamentally believe that pro players should not be exempt from scrutiny over their behavior,” said RedBear, VP of League of Legends eSports, “In fact, we believe pros have an additional opportunity to act as positive role models for the entire community.” The player has also been known to be generally un-sportsman like outside of the game as well, says Riot: “There also have been repeated incidents of similar behavior outside the game.” And for a pro player on a big-name team, that's a strict no-no.
This news is sure to make huge waves in the League of Legends crowd, not to mention all the online gaming community. It may send a shiver down the spine of those who make their living off of playing games – seeing that you can be top dog one day and banned the next due to bad behavior is a bit humbling. “The decision to impact someone’s career is not one we make lightly, which is why this is tough news to deliver,” said the VP of LoL eSports.
While there are a few voicing outrage already, many League players seem to be alright with the ruling. Seeing as the judgment was passed by the Tribunal – average players of the game who get to weigh in on the ruling – I suppose it should be no surprise that the outrage is minimal.
League of Legends players are, admittedly, among some of the worst in gaming when it comes to flaming, or “toxic behavior”… second only perhaps to Halo players. Gamers and League enthusiasts are wondering if this will cause a shift in the way players approach the game… and how they approach their fellow players.