Riot threaten League of Legends pro with permaban for suspected DoS attacks, suspend seven guilty of Elo-boosting

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Riot have published verdicts for two Terms of Use violations by pro League of Legends players this morning. In one, the developers issued a “first and final” warning to Good Game University general manager Sam ‘Hexo’ Bouchard for threatening an opponent with DoS attacks, and for allegedly making good on his word. In the other, Riot suspended seven North American pros, including members of CLG and Curse, for boosting the Elo ratings of lesser players.

GGU’s Hexo, whose harassment rating is higher than any other LCS North American manager or player, is suspected of a DoS attack in a match last month. During the incident, recorded by alleged victim RobertXLee, Hexo can be seen to type “/IP_Find_ROBERTxREE” in all_chat. “Hit it”, suggests GGU teammate NintendudeX. A few seconds later, RobertXLee suffers a DoS attack and is disconnected from the game:

Lee was eventually able to rejoin the game after several reconnection attempts, but suffered a “noticeable disadvantage” to his creep score and experience thanks to the downtime.

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In their ruling, Riot wrote that there was “very strong” circumstantial evidence that Hexo has engaged in DoS activity against “one or more” LoL players.

“Any DoS activity represents a blatant and willful disregard of the letter and spirit of the Summoner’s Code and the League of Legends Terms of Use,” wrote senior eSports manager Whalen Rozelle. “Intentionally disconnecting a competitor from a game is the very definition of unsportsmanlike behavior and unfair play.

“As an LCS team General Manager, Hexo has a responsibility to lead by example; the creation of even the appearance of being a DoS attacker is grossly inappropriate.”

Riot will continue to closely monitor the situation and investigate allegations of DoS attacks using “all available internal and external data”. Any confirmation of past or future attacks will result in an account permaban for Hexo.

Seven fellow LCS players, meanwhile, have lost their Season 2 rewards and been slapped with 14-day suspensions for Elo-boosting. Elo scores are the primary means by which player ability is determined in LoL, and Riot have determined that these seven pros had repeatedly played on the accounts of “clients” to artificially improve their in-game rating:

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“Elo-boosting damages the interests of players of all skill levels because it cheats the internal matchmaking system of League of Legends,” ruled Riot. “Boosting leads to less-skilled players confronting a far superior opponent (the booster) during the boost and also leads to less-skilled clients being placed onto higher-skilled teams after the boost has been completed.”

A recent Riot investigation identified the seven pro players and one team manager, some of whom played hundreds of games on the accounts of their clients. In the most severe case, one player improved a client’s rating by 900 points.

“There is no way to know whether an Elo-booster performed a boost for money or other consideration, but all boosts are viewed as wrong,” wrote Rozelle. The named players will receive permabans if caught engaging in the practice in future.

These cases are far from the first the LCS has seen. January saw two pros banned for life on the temporal doorstep of the Championship Series. And before that, Team Dignitas’ IWillDominate was deemed the “most toxic” pro player in North America.

What do you think of the verdicts? Are Riot going about the business of keeping play fair in the right manner?

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