Player IWillDominate's days of verbal abuse and bad sportsmanship are over.
Remember how growing up, your elders always told you, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?" IWillDominate, a professional League of Legends player, probably should have heeded this advice. While IWillDominate's level of play is far beyond reproach, he has had a recurring problem with verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct. After persisting in this behavior, Riot Games has taken the drastic step of banning IWillDominate from the professional LoL scene, making it impossible for him to compete in the League of Legends Championship Series.
"We take sportsmanship and player behavior very seriously, and we fundamentally believe that pro players should not be exempt from scrutiny over their behavior," says Dustin Beck, vice president of eSports at Riot. According to Beck, Riot puts pro players under the microscope because they should act as role models for the rest of the community, not cautionary tales. "The decision to impact someone's career is not one we make lightly, which is why this is tough news to deliver. Unfortunately, our Tribunal recently was forced to permanently ban a pro player as a response to his persistent toxic behavior." Riot has permanently banned IWillDominate's accounts, forcing his teammates on Team Dignitas to seek out a new player for this year's championships.
IWillDominate has courted controversy before - at least nine times, according to Riot. Nine tribunals have judged the player for repeated incidents of abusive language, profane outbursts, unpleasant attitude, and pointed insults. Eight times, he received punishment for his actions. Even so, IWillDominate's harassment score increased by 30% over the last few months, putting him within the top 1% of the game's most objectionable players. "It's important to note how severe and consistent the behavior of this particular individual was, as is outlined in the ruling," continues Beck. "No other professional players in NA approach this individual's harassment score."
For his own part, IWillDominate seems fairly contrite about his actions, and has done nothing to contest the ban. "Although the ruling is extremely tough, I agree with riot (sic) that player sportsmanship is a serious matter and I want to apologize to anyone that i've (sic) offended in game and my fans," he writes on Reddit. During his exile, IWillDominate plans to continue playing at an amateur level and hone his skills to someday return to the professional arena. "League of Legends is my life, and I will do everything in my power to play as long as possible." After nine tribunals, amending his bad behavior won't be easy, but he'll have the Summoner's Code to help him out.