Toxicity has to be punished. A strong statement, one that borders on the line of a Sith-worthy absolute. Yet it’s hard to argue against it. And when you looks at Tyler1, a high elo Draven main and one of the most toxic players in the game, it’s not exactly surprising that he’d get the League of Legends version of capital punishment.
The indefinite ban.
The ruling cites a “well-documented history of account bans for verbal abuse, intentional feeding, as well as account sharing/purchasing, evasion of sportsmanship systems, and player harassment” as the main reason for the decision. From this point on, every account Tyler1 was spotted playing on would be suspended.
For all intents and purposes, a toxic player being hit with a ban hammer should’ve been the end of the story. But now, more than a year and a half later, it’s evident that things didn’t go Riot’s way—so much so that they’re considering to roll back the punishment. Did Tyler1 really improve to the point where he deserves a second chance? Maybe. He certainly seems much better whenever he streams.
But we believe there’s something much bigger at play.
Controlling the Beast
Tyler1’s case isn’t unique. Players like XJ9 and Incarnati0n have also received similar punishments, and the latter even redeemed himself, changed his nametag, and went on to become the mid laner of the NA LCS team, Cloud9. But never before was an indefinite ban met with so much backlash.
Sure, if you looked at the League of Legends subreddit, it might seem that everyone was on board with Riot’s decision, but the official forums told a different story. Tyler1 wasn’t just a random toxic player, he was a streamer with a massive following. And to his fans, the ban turned him into a martyr.
The worst part? Tyler1’s fame never went away. He kept streaming and crafting content to cultivate wildly successful Twitch and Youtube channels. He did playthroughs, he made vlogs, he dabbled in Overwatch and DotA2, and he even caught aspects of his life on camera (like his journey to learn backflips on stream). Through all of this, thousands of viewers followed his every move. Because despite his many shortcomings Tyler1 was a good entertainer.
And he knew it.
Of course, he would never get this far without League of Legends, and Tyler himself often wished he could return to the game. With that in mind, it’s no wonder his fans eventually called to #FreeTyler1. Like wildfire, their voices spread from the forums to the LCS studios and even to the South Korean LCK. It got so bad that Riot Games had to official rules, prohibiting fans from making posters with mentions of the banned Draven main.
But Tyler kept making content. Despite his ban, he coached League of Legends players, he hosted his own League of Legends Invitational, and he even took part in League of Legends talk shows. The bizarre statement from Riot Sanjuro was the icing on the metaphorical cake. Tyler1 became a problem that Riot could no longer ignore. And something had to be done about it.
A Change in Direction
Reexamining the ban is the best decision Riot Games could make. Tyler1 isn’t going away anytime soon, but his in-game attitude saw drastic improvements after the punishment. Provided he doesn’t exhibit any ban-worthy behavior, Riot aren’t losing anything by saying they’d consider changing their mind.
So is Tyler1 going to get unbanned?
Probably. As is often the case with toxic players, Tyler1’s fate lies in his own hands, but there are very tangible benefits in reforming the poster child of toxicity. And as long as Tyler1 doesn’t do anything to change this narrative, we will once again see his stream at the top of the League of Legends Twitch page.
What do you think about Riot Games’ decision to reevaluate Tyler1’s indefinite ban? Share your opinion in the comments!
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