Riot Act: League Of Legends Banhammer Applied

By Cara Ellison on March 19th, 2013 at 8:30 pm.

You're toxic I'm slipping under
I’m addicted to you, but you know that you’re toxic. And I love what you do, but you know that you’re toxic, said a woman, once, to me. She was Britney Spears, yes, although you know she looks a lot like Katarina in League of Legends in the Toxic video so maybe she was just predicting an awful lot of things that were going to go on in the future. Such as a bunch of absolute knobbers acting like knobs in League of Legends. Britney Spears has SPOKEN.

According to a pleasingly transparent post on the League of Legends forums today, Good Game University (GGU) General Manager Sam “Hexo” Bouchard has been given an official warning about his terrible behaviour. His harassment rating, according to the Senior eSports Manager at Riot, “is currently the worst of all LCS North American managers and players (including both starters and reserve players)”. It transpires that there is “strong circumstantial evidence that Hexo has engaged in DoS activity against one or more LoL players” resulting in being given “a first and final warning regarding the issuance of threats of DoS attacks or the actual launching of DoS attacks”. LoL pro player Hexo was caught posting a message in all-chat implying that he was attempting to determine the IP address of fellow player Robert “RobertXLee” Lee. See “/IP_Find_ROBERTxREE” in all chat:

Mean girls

A team mate of Hexo’s messaged ‘Hit it’ (very Britneyesque), and shortly after RobertXLee lost his connection, giving him a major disadvantage to his play when he reconnected.

Riot goes on to say of Hexo, “No other North American pro player or manager has a higher harassment score.” Sounds like he’s a fun guy to play against. If Hexo pisses anyone off further, he will receive a permanent account ban, amongst other, slightly more slappy-wristy stuff, and the shame of having violated The Summoner’s Code. You can read all about this case here.

Whilst other sports have a distinct no-doping policy, Riot has quite a strict no dickbag policy, though if people were doping the equivalent of LoL players smack talking we’d probably have a lot of comatose athletes on our hands. To that end, more rulings have been made on the case of something called “Elo-Boosting”. This is sort of like pumping your veins full of points instead of shark testosterone in order to make you perform better. Riot reports, “seven LCS North American pro players (plus one team coach) have been engaged in Elo-boosting”, where players use client accounts to artificially raise the client’s Elo rating. Sadly, the side effect of that is not tiny balls, but 14-day suspensions of their accounts, effective immediately, and all Season Two rewards revoked. The players/coach involved were:

Brandon “Dontmashme” Phan
Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black
Samuel “Chuuper” Chu
William “Meteos” Hartman
ChengLong “NyJacky” Wang
Keith “Phranq” Hunter
Kennen “Rhux” Santos
Jake “Xmithie” Puchero

BRITNEY: HIT IT

They are hustlers, they are no good at all, but I’m in love with them et cetera. RPS, your number one site for Britney Spears-related League of Legends posts.

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110 Comments »

  1. JustAPigeon says:

    Six EU LCS players also found to be Elo-boosting: http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=10857726

    I think Hexo deserves a permaban, to be honest, but perhaps the reason they didn’t was insufficient evidence. For a team manager especially: not on.

    • Chandos says:

      The sports equivalent of this is to say “We have caught this athlete doping and shooting other athletes in the kneecaps, and we have zero tolerance policy on this. One more kneecap shot, and he is out.”

      That there is a harassment rating and that this guy has the top score and is still not banned explains all you need to know about LoL culture. Douchebaggery simply is part of the game.

      • Cam says:

        Have to agree with this 100%. There should be a ZERO tolerance policy for this kind of stuff; just having a dishonorable record like that means they already know he’s guilty.

      • Baines says:

        It’s not quite Tonya Harding vs Nancy Kerrigan.

        But it is more than being harassed by John McEnroe.

        One problem that they have is that online gaming in general is a mess, and has been for years. If they level punishment too hard, people will stop playing the game, not even counting the significant chunk of the player base that would probably be suspended for violations.

        • Hypocee says:

          What percentage of their recently trumpeted five million concurrent players could they easily afford to lose, I wonder?

          • MrMud says:

            More importantly, how many people do they already loose because of the vile and hateful community?

          • Stan Lee Cube Rick says:

            @MrMud This. Most of the people I know that played and then quit didn’t leave because it was a bad game. In fact it is usually quite fun as well as one of the better examples of a free to play pricing model.

      • Kinth says:

        The reason he wasn’t banned for the DDOS is they have no hard proof.

        Technically if he was being DDOS’d his stream should have gone down too.

        • socrate says:

          they ban a load of people without proof all the time in LoL its a really badly handled game,the fact that its free and next to no restriction make it so played not the fact that its awesome…its still a dumbed down dota for low skill level player and the same dumb hero always getting picked because of obvious balance issue,had to this that they have an extremely limited amount of support hero and apparently wont add anymore any time soon and you end up with a pretty obvious game about griefing and pure chaos.

          it was tested by loads of people that you can actually queue up with people you know and all vote someone for harassment or bad language and the like and they will actually ban him 80% of the time thats just dumb

          the fact that he got a warning is because he is one of their big player and that banning wont stop much anyway since you can always have a gazillion account…sure it mess up is season but that would just drive him away and a bunch of other who learned that its a big stupid part of LoL and they didin’t do much before and they still won’t do anything today.

          the game itself is a good example about how some game that don’t do anything just enforce not only harassment and abuse but actually do nothing to improve the internet community which end up looking like a bunch of kids who just bully each other cause they don’t have to fear about getting beat up and facing the reality of real life…would anyone act like that in real life?they would eventually find someone that wouldnt take it and get beat up or face the law

          The entire point is LoL should never be allowed to be considered viable for a dumb E-sport since its broken in every possible way…but E-sport is a big joke to begin with anyway so yeah.

          • Catastrophe says:

            Wow, almost every thing you said here was total hyperbole.

            I play both DOTA 2 and LoL and think DOTA 2 is harder to get into but LoL has a much higher skill cap.

            People arent banned for no reason, the tribunal seems to work well and every claim against it has been shot down with evidence and facts.

            A pre-made 4man team cannot all report one person and get them instantly banned – to get into the tribunal you have to get reported in alot of games, frequently.

          • Quickpull says:

            DOTA and HoN players love to go around parroting the LoL is for noobs line. People just read it and repeat it over and over again with no basis on reality or experience. People need to learn that there is nothing to be gained by being a fanboy. Just because you play one game doesn’t mean you have any need to attack people who play different games.

            Unrelated note, whats RPS’s general stance on the term ‘MOBA’. Is that what we’re going with here?

          • darkChozo says:

            MOBA, I think, is the closest thing to an industry term for the genre, forced by Riot or not. RPS typically uses MOBA in their articles. Which immediately results in a MOBA vs. ARTS vs. DotAlike vs. lanepusher vs. whatever argument, of course.

    • SavageTech says:

      The whole Elo boosting thing is a pretty bullshit thing for Riot to be upset about, because (provided their matchmaking is functional) there shouldn’t be any long-term consequences. If a pro player raises someone’s Elo above where it should be then the owner of the account will bomb their Elo back to where it was before the pro player intervened. If a Grandmaster SC2 player got my account to Platinum there’s no way I’d be able to maintain that ranking, and it’s the same story here.

      The ridiculous part is that a platinum player could duo-queue in “solo” ranked on an alternate account with a friend to boost their Elo, but if that same player logs in to their friend’s account alone then it’s somehow wrong. The result is identical (a player is rated higher than they should be) so why does Riot wholly endorse duo-queuing while condemning Elo boosting? It’s completely asinine, and this sort of public crucifixion to distract from the real problem is what I’ve come to expect from Riot games.

      • Hypocee says:

        I dunno, ask the player who doesn’t get into the tournament where they’re trying to earn a living because someone else had a friend on the inside.

      • Muzman says:

        Is “Elo boosting” some kind of thing where you play this at people somehow?
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mOFay9Rhac

        Clearly those about to be DoS-ed should do this.

      • Quickpull says:

        The reason Elo boosting works is because LoL is a team game. More to the point, it’s a team game where a couple good players can win the game for you as long as you at least aren’t actively bad, and a couple of bad players can lose you the game no matter what you do. Its true that a weaker player isn’t going to maintain the super high Elo that a pro player would. But boosting can keep them out of what LoL players refer to as ‘Elo Hell’. It’s where you constantly get put on teams with other poor players. You may win some games against some equally low Elo teams, but none of them will ever improve their Elo in that situation, you just get stuck there even if you improve. Once you get your Elo boosted up, you’d have to be truly awful to ever fall back down into Elo hell. It’s a bit counter intuitive I know, but its not completely silly.

        • darkChozo says:

          Heh, if you look around long enough, you’ll find that ELO hell sits roughly at Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers, occasionally at Platinum, and at least once at Diamond. Also, the only reason people are placed where they are is due to trolls and leavers that they can’t hope to carry even with their superior skills.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Anything less than a perma-ban for Hexo AND his entire team shows that Riot don’t take cheating seriously and are just paying it lip service.

  2. MuscleHorse says:

    Cara, you are equally irritating and lovely. Never change.

    When can we look forward to Frank Zappa themed Dishonoured reports?

  3. frightlever says:

    They sound like a bunch of Amy-seekers.

  4. darkChozo says:

    RPS has an embarrassing dearth of stories tagged Britney Spears. As a *cough* paying customer, I demand this gross injustice be rectified posthaste.

  5. SexualHarassmentPanda says:

    The sad thing is they didn’t even permaban these people. LoL’s moderation is a joke. There were so many horrible individuals in that game, and the worst punishment they were receiving was a 3 day Tribunal ban.

    • Kinth says:

      The problem is Permabanning doesn’t work for free to play games.

      The only people really affected by a permaban are new players who get lumped with these idiots when they start new accounts.

      Riot is looking into ways to try and stop “smurfing” and make it so they can make sure ban stick (banned IP’s doesn’t work because many providers use dynamic IP’s that change every so often, their old IP would go to a new person who could find them self unjustly banned)

      • Serpok says:

        But with lol that would mean having to rebuy heroes and runes and re-grind to 30. Or buy a lvled account.

      • maximiZe says:

        It works just fine for p2w/grind2win games like LoL.

        • Lazarus_Soma says:

          Not sure if this reply will work or not so @maximiZe

          Not Pay to win in the slightest and considering the only “grinding” is simply playing the damn game your playing: you should really just shove off before spouting nonsensical vitriol with no basis in reality.

          And to anyone replying with the obvious, the only things that allow you to increase your power in a match in a fairly inconsiquentiall way can only be purchased with the points you earn by playing the game, as in literally no way to actually pay to win. And yes apparently simply playing a game is grinding these days; LoL= gigantic grind fest, ‘scuse me while i go and have a quick grind with a few chums.

    • darkChozo says:

      LoL bans for things that the Tribunal handles operate on an escalating strike system. If someone is banned for three days, it doesn’t mean that someone looked at their behavior and determined that they deserve a three day ban; it means they’ve been punished by the Tribunal twice (IIRC) before, getting a warning and a one day ban. If they get punished three (IIRC again) more times, they’re going to be permabanned unless Riot decides they don’t deserve it. So it’s not that LoL moderation is weak per se, it’s just consistent across offenses (well, at least until you start getting punished enough that Riot takes notice).

  6. NothingFunny says:

    and why is this news? zzzz

  7. Ba5 says:

    Cheaters should be permanently banned in all cases. That DoS thing should have cost him more than a warning. I’m glad I don’t play awful games such as this one.

    Enjoyable article, free shipping, would read from again. A++++

    • darkChozo says:

      I’m guessing that there’s not enough evidence to actually prove that he was cheating, just circumstantial evidence that he might have been. Permabanning a pro player is kinda a big deal, they don’t want to do it if they don’t have a rock solid case.

      • lasikbear says:

        The post also says any additional evidence of “past or future DDOS attacks” would result in a permaban, so assuming they can prove he did any other attacks he would be banned.

        • darkChozo says:

          Specifically, the fact that they say “a first and final warning regarding the issuance of threats of DoS attacks or the actual launching of DoS attacks” suggests to me that they don’t actually have proper evidence of an attack occurring. If they did, they’d leave off the “threats” bit. Well, they’d probably actually just ban him, but that’s beside the point.

    • Squishpoke says:

      Over in the States, DoS attacks are classified as Crime.

  8. Galloughs says:

    Just can’t figure out why these League ban stories are considered news to anyone. If you care about this sort of thing, surely you’re getting this info directly from the source, right?

    • DeVadder says:

      You could also get all your kickstarter related news from the souce. Or all your TESO related news. Or.. you get my point.
      MOBA is a genre enjoyed by many PC players and it is riddled with bad community. So for many of us, it is interesting to see how THE MOBA company reacts or not reacts. Not enough to follow Riots blog though.

    • Yuri says:

      Probably because they all involve professional LoL players, currently competing in the LoL world championship.

      They are under work contracts for Riot Games(yes, that means it’s their job, benefits and all).
      The situation around it has become very similar to physical sports.
      If one player from a pro basketball team attacks another player or is generally a dickbag, his team or the organization he’s playing in(like the NBA) will sanction him in one way or another.

      It’s Riot treating e-sports affairs like an actual sport, which is commendable.
      You don’t want your pro players acting like angry 13 year old kids.
      Someone is literally giving them money to play their game competitively and they’re acting like dicks? Nope, not gonna fly.

      That’s only for Hexo and several other players previously reprimanded and sanctioned for unsportsmanlike behavior.

      The Elo boosters are disruptive for Riot’s ladder system, hence the sanctions.
      None of them are douches per se, but rank-boosting is generally frowned upon, especially since it’s a team game and boosting a lowbie into a higher ranking tends to severely mess up games for the other 4 players in his team.
      Riot also introduced a new ranking system that gives amateur teams a shot to go pro and participate in LCS competitions and getting paid by Riot, along with any sponsors or income along with that.
      It’s pretty obvious why Riot doesn’t want any part of its system compromised or spoofed with.
      And that’s essentially what elo boosting is – spoofing someone’s real rating and messing with the ranking system.

      • darkChozo says:

        Are pro teams employed by Riot? My impression was always that they are independent entities who make their money off of tournaments and sponsorships. They’re probably in a contract with Riot (well, almost certainly in a contract given the money involved and the possibility of disqualification), but I somewhat doubt that they’re in a work contract.

        • SpiritBoy says:

          They are under a work contract, in season 3. That’s why some players who are under 17 couldn’t compete. (See rekkles)

      • maximiZe says:

        When did the NBA start to pay players exactly?

        • Cinek says:

          Since there was not enough 3rd party interest and tournament was still profitable enough for them to cover payments for players and still earn on top of that.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Because of the Britney Spears angle, obviously.

  9. cyrenic says:

    An attempt at constructive criticism:

    Since it’s been almost 7 months since your last dedicated League of Legends article, I’d suggest reporting on something less obscure:

    League of Legends hits 5 million concurrent players: http://www.riotgames.com/articles/20130312/700/league-legends-players-summit-new-peak

    A rework of LoL’s least successful champion: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3224791

    LoL’s newest champion: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3226580

    Dedicated support for All Random All Mid, a game mode that originated from players coming up with the rules and then enforcing the rules themselves: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3227822

    Cheers!

  10. shadowmarth says:

    This isn’t really a huge deal, compared to what happened a while back where they permabanned half of a pro team right before a major tournament because they were A) Huge dickbags and B) Actually perpetrating DDOS attacks against their competitors.

  11. The Magic says:

    Gotta say, the news is interesting, but the britney is what makes the article. I haven’t listened to her in ages, but criminal sounds great.

  12. Panda Powered says:

    The apex of the gaming community.

  13. unbias says:

    Jeeze, I mean, I’ve heared of all the crap that goes on with that games community, but seriously…

    • Apocalypse says:

      It is much better than last year, those phychology dudes seem to paying off. They added a badged for nice players, etc
      The amazing thing is, that dead simple stuff actually works.

      The game is a lot less toxic than it used to be. Which still means that at least one guy bitch each game, but it is way less extreme than before.

      • lasikbear says:

        I’ve found both in LoL and DoTA2 actively being nice and non-aggressive helps a lot too. Everyone says “the community is a shithole, I don’t want to be part of it” but if you are playing you are already part of it so you may as well be nice. Just a “yo, chill”, “nice job” or “sorry about that” (obviously to fit the situation) works really well to change the attitude of the game.

        • Quickpull says:

          I’ve started playing with my brother in law a good bit, and when we come across a bitchy player he always just says “Please stop”.

          I am amazed how often this actually works.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        It also helps to play random solo ques and not ladder. Your team may not be as good, but when someone gets mad you can say “Relax, this isn’t ladder”

  14. gingerbill says:

    sounds like there moderation and ban police is very lax , practically useless . Seems to take an awful lot of crap to get a ban.

    as bronn in GOT says ” there’s no cure for being a k…’

  15. Kaiji says:

    Any real Britney Spears fan would know it’s “Don’t you know that you’re toxic”, not “But you know that you’re toxic”.

    Charlatan.

  16. cptgone says:

    Britney Spears? that’s crossing the line.
    /IP_Find_Cara

  17. Gap Gen says:

    Let the first image be a warning to you not to spend all your money on knives before you go jumper shopping.

  18. Butler says:

    RPS, your number one site for Britney Spears-related League of Legends posts.

    Figuratively, and literally.

  19. Cryptoshrimp says:

    Man, Cara’s posts get gloriously wierder every time. I can’t wait for the next one.

    • bleeters says:

      I’m half expecting the next to resemble ancient, forbidden texts in the Cthulhu mythos. To understand is to know madness.

  20. LazyAssMF says:

    Aaaahahahaha!:D:D:D
    Cara, you so crazy!;):D

  21. felis says:

    Some Gaming University? LCS? Harassment ratings? A long list of names, each brandishing a nickname? What is this? Where is the context?

    • darkChozo says:

      Good Gaming University is a LoL pro team. LCS is the LoL Championship Series, it’s basically their fancy new name for the Riot-sponsored regular season that leads up to a Riot-sponsored championship. Harassment rating is, um, what it sounds like, some internal Riot statistic that tracks how toxic the player is. The list of names is a list of pro players banned, it doesn’t really matter that much if you know the individual names.

  22. Dana says:

    /IP_Find_ROBERTxREE ?

    Is this gui interface coded in visual basic ?

  23. JFS says:

    what is this I don’t even

  24. strangeloup says:

    Now and then I think “maybe I should give LoL another try” and then a story like this comes along and I’m reminded of all the dickbags. In this instance I at least had some finely crafted pop to listen to, and I feel retroactively bad about a) Britney having a mental, b) sort of laughing at it. That being said her music was never as good after she had the baby.

    I feel I’ve digressed a bit. MOBAs are full of dickheads! Raaaah!

  25. Jackablade says:

    Is there not some kind of ranking or other persistence that a player would risk by doing things that would potentially get them banned? That would seem like a reasonably effective sort of means of crowd control.

    • Shepardus says:

      There is a ladder system, but it’s that ladder system that’s driving many of these players to cheat in the first place, to boost their ranking. There are also all the unlockables such as champions and skins, but I doubt the threat of losing that from being banned deters many from cheating.

      • solidsquid says:

        It’s not particularly expensive to buy a couple of characters (think it was £5 to get two and a skin unlock when I got some a while back), so the only case where losing that stuff would really have an impact is if you had unlocked them by playing the game and raising cash that way, which can take a while

  26. Det says:

    Sometimes I get the feeling you guys only cover these things for the wordplay in the title.
    And a chance to write articles involving Britney Spears.
    Mostly the latter.

  27. geldonyetich says:

    League of Legends is generally a whole lot of fun, but I have to say that the community has fallen into a real nasty habit of blaming everybody else for when a battle goes wrong. There’s never a team better than yours, it’s always somebody’s fault on your team. So I’m glad to see Riot’s cracking down on that somewhat, but they’ve got a whole caustic mess of a community on their hands, and are running into the ramifications of that now.

    • RedViv says:

      When was that blame-that-guy attitude NOT a thing in laneypushygames? I’ve seen that six, seven, eight years ago in DotA, and it happens in every game since.

    • MattM says:

      People getting mad in LoL is so dumb. The matchmaking system means that you will lose your lane about half the time and lose the game about half the time. Sometimes you get outplayed, sometimes you get a bad matchup, and sometimes their jungler camps you. As you improve and learn you just get matched against better players who tend to be bigger assholes. I have seen people bitched at for not knowing exactly how every ability of every champion works (over 600 abilities) in unranked play. Being pretty good at the game takes around 2000 hours of play plus many more reading up on champions and abilities and even then that’s no guarantee of victory as your opponent probably has the same number of hours and the game is deliberately designed around making it impossible to be completely safe from ganks. It makes the game fun and dynamic, but it also seems to inspire great assholery in some players.

  28. Nick says:

    Ah Britney, such an Evil Woman.

  29. Pangalaktichki says:

    Oops, he did it again. But that’s ok with Riot, as long as he doesn’t do it one more time. At least we all know he’s not that innocent.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      I don’t know if I’m more worried or embarrassed that you needn’t have used italics.

      • Droopy The Dog says:

        0 seconds – Huh? The emphasis is a little odd but there’s nothing wrong with those italics…

        15 seconds – Oooooooooohhhhh! /facepalm

        In light of my poor performance I think you should be proud of your instant recognition. :P

  30. Hardmood says:

    you know whats the problem of LoL(insert any MoBa or MMo [here])?

    the ridiculously dumb playerbase. the one with the biggest bigmouths are those who can´t play the game, they. hell, they dont even WANT to learn playing the game in evry way possible.

    sometimes i can´t help myself thinking there are ZIPPYs out there infront of their rigs.

    the fact that some prO is DoSed is really NOT the problem of any game…

  31. Mr Monotone says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that command probably doesn’t actually work. You know, because that would be mad.

  32. Kinth says:

    There isn’t.

    There is a back story to this. Basically the person he threatens to DDOS was part of a team that cheated against the team that the “DDOS’er” represents. They got banend from qualifying for it and the team split up but as they went down RobertxLee (the person supposedly getting DDOS’d) claimed that Hexo (The accused) was DDOSing in the games where they cheated.

    So Hexo jokingly (or so he claims) threatens RobertXLee with a DDOS when he comes across him in a game. Robert suddenly has connection trouble. Which is either a huge coincidence or an actual DDOS.

    There is one odd thing about this tough. Roberts stream stayed up the entire time, A DDOS should have knocked it offline. Though it is possible he uses another computer and net connection to handle his streaming (this isn’t entirely uncommon)

    Anyway TL;DR there is no command that allows you to find an IP like that in LoL. Honestly both should be perma-banned from the game. Hexo is absolutely toxic and RobertxLee is a known cheater. Unfortunately there is no real way to perma ban in a free to play game.

  33. GeminiathXL says:

    Yeah, he was probably using some software on a 2nd monitor and accidentally typed and executed the command in the game, rather than in said software.

  34. Shepardus says:

    I too am stunned that people make money playing online games. Let’s permaban them all.

  35. Zyrxil says:

    No, that line is very obviously just Hexo taunting the guy.

  36. Zyrxil says:

    He wouldn’t. In past cases of streamers being DDOSed, their IP was revealed through Skype vulnerabilities, not the game itself.

  37. Dezmiatu says:

    It’s even more unbelievable one of there internal network money launderers has been posting right under our noses. Don, this is a philanthropic website, and we’re going to short circuit you and your contagion of digital greed with our Nortan Antivirus of compassion.

  38. Runty McTall says:

    Anyone else sometimes feel like they’re being Turing tested?

  39. Runty McTall says:

    That was meant to be in reply to Dezmiatu, above.

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