Toxic League of Legends players aren’t exactly a dying breed. And they’re even more prevalent at the top of the competitive ladder where tension reaches its boiling point. Most of the time interactions with these players follow the ‘mute, report, and move on’ formula right until they are weeded out by Riot’s behavior team. But there are rare occasions when you can’t help but wonder—could some of these guys make it on the big stage?
5. Pornstar Zilean
It might seem odd to kick off this list with a Draven one trick, but many LCS players started their careers by playing a single champion. Regardless, it doesn’t seem that Pornstar Zilean is going to join them anytime soon. He is notorious for insulting teammates, running it down mid, and making passionate posts about League’s balance on Twitter. Oh, and he’s also the creator of the infamous Disco Nunu.
His many offenses got him several bans and chat restrictions, but that doesn’t stop him from reaching Challenger as well as having a successful boosting career. Pornstar Zilean might not be a perfect fit for pro play but damn would it be entertaining to see him try.
Talent is hard to come by in North America. And it’s even less common to see extraordinary players that can solo carry high-level games. Enter Tarzaned, a promising jungler that’s finished Season 6 as the #1 player on the Challenger ladder. If any other player reached the same goal, he’d almost certainly get a few tryouts from Challenger and LCS teams. But not Tarzaned. His long history of boosting and abusing teammates seem to have gotten the North American jungler on Riot’s blacklist.
Despite getting several suspensions and not passing a behavior check for the Scouting Grounds, Tarzaned was still trying to break into pro play. That is until he rage quit a scrim and threatened to break his teammate’s head. Sure, there have been cases when toxic players have turned their bad luck around, but Tarzaned has come as close to the point of no return as you can get.
Now here’s a blast from the past! DarkwinJax—also known as StunnedandSlayed—was a high-level Season 3 player that was about to participate in the LCS qualifier when he got a lifetime ban from Riot. His offenses included verbal abuse, racist remarks, and threats of physical injury. These weren’t isolated incidents either as DarkwinJax had already gotten a few of his other accounts banned.
Another player that received the same treatment was Jensen. But while he managed to turn his bad luck around and joined one of the largest eSports teams in the West, DarkwinJax never seemed to get the memo. Apart from creating an apology thread, he made few efforts to improve his attitude and faded into obscurity. Still—if we are to take his word for it—he was incredibly close to becoming a legitimate pro player.
XJ9 was a jungling legend. Back when junglers were reduced to secondary supports, he was the one that reinvented the role. He taxed, he power farmed, he took blue from his mid laner, he carried games—and he was damn good at it. Unfortunately, he was also a sociopath. It wasn’t just your regular flaming or elo boosting either. XJ9 ranged from stealing accounts to stalking people that made the mistake of associating with him. Everything culminated in XJ9 posting his girlfriend’s nudes because she played Lee Sin. And that was that. From here on he was banned on sight.
Funny thing is that XJ9 had actually been a part of a pro team—SUPA HOT CREW—as an assistant coach for jungle pathing. His stay didn’t even last a full month, though. I guess some people are just not meant to work together with functional human beings.
No list of promising banned players would be complete without Apdo. Even without playing a single competitive game, Apdo is somewhat of a legend in the Korean scene. He’s one of the few mid laners that can go toe to toe with Faker, and he’s the most successful elo booster that routinely gets accounts into Challenger.
Unfortunately, we’re likely never going to see him play on the big stage. Riot Korea has issued him a lifetime ban for his many boosting escapades, and Apdo himself stated that he wasn’t looking to go pro. Currently, League’s best Solo Queue player is living and making bank by streaming in China. Still, it’s hard not to question how good he could be if he were to enter the competitive scene.
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