Cover image courtesy Riot Games
- League of Legends' persistent toxicity problem is amplified by certain streamers.
- Riot needs to start taking action on community influencers who are misusing their reach.
The word “toxicity” is now a buzzword for League of Legends. Meaning disruptive behaviour in gaming, the issue with it is that it’s hard to tell what is toxic behaviour and what isn’t. It’s impossible to ban everyone that’s remotely considered to have disruptive behaviour, and it would be wrong to do so.
Riot always has to perform a tightrope walk between banning people who are truly toxic and sparing those who are reported as being toxic but are simply criticizing other players. After all, League of Legends is a game that’s easy to disrupt if you want to be toxic.
Many have complained about the extremely toxic player base, including prominent voices in the scene such as Voyboy. Toxicity, especially streamer toxicity, is a huge problem because banning streamers like Tyler1 somehow makes them even more popular.
Tyler1 Really Reformed?
Tyler1 was banned from the game for his persistent toxic behaviour in April 2016. Tyler is known for his tantrums and he was particularly fond of telling people to kill themselves. Tyler1 loved to int in ranked matches. This disruptive behaviour is what made him famous and got him banned. Since then the streamer has returned to Twitch following Riot Games’ decision to lift his ban in January 2018 and got more than 380,000 concurrent viewers. Tyler1’s YouTube channel today has over 2.2 million subscribers. Despite claiming to be reformed, he continues disruptive behaviour on his stream, which many see as putting on a character, just as he puts it, ‘banter’.
A Testament to Toxic Behaviour
Then there are streamers like Tarzaned, who Tyler1 collaborated with. Tarzaned plays the game at Challenger level since 2015. In 2019, he got toxic during his stream, int'ed the game and insulted his team, followed by going AFK when his team decided not to surrender. There are multiple clips available of the player being toxic by AFK-ing, occasionally moving so he would not be hit by an inactivity penalty. Another streamer Geronimo came under fire for asking a viewer to kill themselves on stream.
Sneaky vs Ignar Situation
Toxic behaviour is not limited to servers. IgNar moved over from LEC to the LCS to play for Flyquest and brought the infamous EU toxicity with him. A recent video by Sneaky shows him getting flamed by IgNar for an uncoordinated Teleport play at bot. IgNar comments “na tp” and later “NA, TOO GOOD”.
Some say that IgNar's flame wasn't that bad. The problem is that people in the public eye, like pros and streamers, need to hold themselves to higher standards. They need to set an example for us all. Just because "it's not that bad a flame", not ok to flame. Something has to be done apart from various other personalities giving excuses for him.
According to the rules set out by Riot, if someone is trolling, or running down mid then you need to report that person. Not flame them and their entire region for a bad play or a questionable choice of champ and build.
If Riot really wants to tackle the toxicity problem, they need to come down hard on the public faces of League. If a popular streamer is flaming on stream but not typing, then they need to be reprimanded as they are promoting toxic behaviour and have potentially thousands of people watching them who look up to them, respect them, and have their standards set by them.