TF Blade and the Problem with Riot

TF Blade Reacts To His 14-Day Ban - Best of LoL Streams #639
Daily League of Legends best funny stream moments, memes, funny fails and pro plays #639 ft. TF Blade, Yassuo, King Nidhogg, Rush, xFSN Saber, Hashinshin, SRO, GrossGore, Arrow, Jankos, TSM Sword, Body those fools, TheUnforgiven, Tarzaned, Broxah, Busioc, Angelicbuster, FmJayce, Hanssama, Rezone, Shiphtur, Boxbox, MangoStyles, Feviknight, Alicopter and Jensen!
Fair warning, this will be a little lengthy. I hope you take the time to read it. The tl;dr is that Riot isn't managing their community correctly, and TF Blade's suspension shows that. And nothing said here is aimed at any player in particular, nor is it spoken out of some recent frustration (my last ranked game on my main was over 2 weeks ago). Please feel free to agree/disagree with any points, I am happy to respond! For those who haven't heard, TF Blade was recently given a 14 day suspension on his Turkish account (14 days rank 1 is the name, where he attempted to do exactly what his account name suggests). In the 2 games cited as violations, he used the slur "r%%%%%", and said Turkey was a "dog shit region". Arguably worthy of punishment, for sure, but it's important to consider the circumstances. Nearly every game he was in, players on his team were actively sabotaging his game in order to prevent his climb to rank 1. If you watched any of his stream, you would actually observe people on his team (challenger players) running into enemy turrets and finishing the game 0/10+/0. This isn't unique to him, IWD had a recent streak of that on EUW, and there have been many other examples of streamers getting trolled just because of who they are. During this time, he was playing on a laptop with a bad connection that left him unable to use a facecam or even a mic in order to speak on stream. To say he was frustrated to have people trolling him so frequently would be an understatement. Before I continue on, let me clarify that I do not consider Blade or IWD to be pillars of sportsmanship. They are excellent players who are just real people playing a game competitively as a career. They are not bad/toxic people, they are just people who want to win and get frustrated with players who give up/flame them. This is the nature of competition. Saying a player is "playing like garbage" is not a personal attack, it is frustration coming out that most of us have experienced at least once in our lives. This doesn't make someone a bad person for feeling this way, and to even suggest the frustration voiced by these players somehow negates all of the good/entertainment they have given to this community is beyond insulting. Moving on, let's address the real problem: Riot has no idea how to manage their community. There is nothing wrong with trying to prevent toxic communication in an online game. Toxicity has been around since the Internet was made publicly available. Saying "we don't want outright flaming/derogatory remarks" is an admirable goal, as well as a lofty one. Most online games simply ignore toxic communication and only get involved when threats are issued (I'mt not saying this is good or bad, it's simply what was done historically). But there is 1 major difference between online play in the past vs Riot today, and that is how their game is played. If you go back 15 years and look at online games, if a player was trolling you would either kick them from the game, or if that wasn't on option you would just leave. MOBA games do not have this luxury, if someone leaves the odds are their team will lose. A simple solution is to threaten to punish anyone who leaves often, and also to prevent them from playing another game after leaving as long as that first game is still ongoing. Great, but there's a bigger problem: none of these past games had a ladder ANYWHERE NEAR the competitive nature of League. This creates a unique challenge in the sense that Riot needs to maintain quality control over this type of ranked play. Sure, it's easy to ban a person who seems to leave every game if they start 0/2, but players aren't this dumb. They have learned you can force your team to lose without leaving a game WITHOUT being punished for it. Riot has made it abundantly clear they are afraid of punishing people who are "just having a bad game" on accident, so instead of trying to crack down on inters, they just turn a blind eye to it unless it is ABUNDANTLY clear (even then it's still a coin toss as to whether they will do anything). But here's the thing, I would rather someone plays amazing and screams horrible things aimed at me than have one person sit in silence and run it down a lane. I play ranked to see how I measure up against other players who are trying to win. When a player throws the game, they have ruined my experience. I now need to win an extra game because one of my teammates is having a bad day, and that's simply to offset their temper tantrum. Even the best players in the world get upset when this happens, as is evident by Blade's frustration. So what can Riot do? Is it better to just ignore people intentionally throwing games out of fear they would punish an innocent player? No, not at all. Riot needs a better system in place. I can give you a bunch of ideas to help address the issues with people throwing games, and I'm sure a ton of people in the community have some great ideas as well. But if Riot REALLY wants to make this place better, they should be doing 2 things: 1) If someone submits clips of a player intentionally feeding/throwing, Riot needs to punish that person. An 0/6/0 Jax refusing to group and instead focusing on splitting isn't necessarily throwing. An 0/6/0 Syndra refusing to group is clearly someone who isn't trying to win. Streamers will often have video proof of a player throwing a game, and Riot will STILL do nothing. 2) This is the big one, Riot needs to be more forthcoming with outcomes of reports and what punishments are. The random window saying "One of your recent reports was issued a punishment" does NOTHING to assuage the frustration in this community. It is an intangible statement that more or less feels like a script that runs every 15-20 reports submitted just to keep people from leaving. I would much rather see something real. "Hey Jeebus, remember that dude who kept spamming you to "kys"? We suspended him for 15 games." Honestly, you can automate the message which would encourage better report feedback from players. If the punishment notification said something like "A player you reported for [insert report text I submitted on the player] was issued a chat restriction," I would be MUCH happier to know that this stuff matters. I get that they don't want witch hunts, but they have created mass hysteria by keeping us in the dark. If a player is having a bad game, this community is all too quick to lash out at them for being an "inter", "trash", etc. We can all see that Riot does very little to address people who are ruining ranked play, so this community has resorted to aggression that is often aimed at the wrong people. Feedback is VITALLY important, and without it we move toward chaos. Anything is better than allowing people to continue to throw games while pretending that punishing someone who calls their team stupid is somehow improving this community. There is no accountability for players who don't try, and there is no recourse for players who are feeling increasingly marginalized simply for wanting to win under the current system. We don't want chat to be policed, we want the people who intentionally ruin our experience to be held accountable.
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