After a professional League of Legends player made waves on Reddit with a live stream that shows him allegedly assaulting his girlfriend off camera, Riot Games not only suspended him, but decided to dramatically change their suspension policy.
A Violent History
It was one of the most disturbing live streams of League of Legends ever.
In the middle of a game on Oct. 26, professional Chinese LoL player Li “Vasilii” Wei Jun flipped over a table, bolted out of his chair, and is then heard allegedly assaulting his girlfriend off-camera.
The harrowing footage includes his girlfriend whimpering, “You beat me for this?” after some deafening outbursts from Vasilii.
As if the sounds of his girlfriend’s cries are not distressing enough for viewers, Vasilii is then seen coldly queuing up for a game as if nothing has happened.
Aggressive behavior is nothing new to Vasilii. In a statement made on Nov. 21, Riot Games stated: “Vasilii has been punished for violent tendencies before. In an incident last year, he showed physical aggression onstage, smashing a keyboard and physically intimidating a camera operator during a match.”
Known for his short temper in-game, not even Vasilii’s most dedicated fans could look past this extreme behavior. While antics like rage quitting during a professional tournament make for some spicy Reddit threads, beating a significant other for simply offering game advice is an entirely different situation.
And Riot Games agreed.
While both parties denied there was any physical violence in the live stream footage during multiple interviews with Riot Games, Vasilii was still immediately suspended for 20 competitive months for threatening physical violence, since he audibly threatened to kill her on camera.
“There is no place for physical violence in the League of Legends community,” stated a LoL press release issued a day after the incident. “We will not hesitate to exclude from our game and from our sport those who use violence or physical intimidation against others.”
This is the first time in Riot Game’s history that a competitive player has been banned for domestic violence, something the organization had admittedly not anticipated.
So Riot Games made an example out of him.
A Changing Policy
“Whereas making these threats toward another professional player on stage might warrant a 10 month suspension,” Riot Games discussed in a post made on Nov. 21, “physical intimidation and threats of domestic abuse should be punished much more harshly.”
After Vasilii’s “particularly egregious” behavior, Riot Games decided to officially modify the Global Penalty Index, changing the maximum suspension time due to “aggravating circumstances.”
Noting that Vasilii’s threats were made “toward a defenseless person and in a private residence,” Riot Games said that the extreme misconduct was beyond what they had ever anticipated when they devised the Global Penalty Index, which originally stated that 10 months was the longest possible suspension for “aggravating circumstances.”
Riot Games changed the max penalty to 20 months, and is still discussing a possibility of indefinitely banning any player who carries out “the most extreme acts of misconduct.”
Vasilii will be unable to compete in League of Legends until January 1, 2020.
While that doesn’t seem like a harsh punishment to some, Compete writer Maddy Myers stated that Riot Games “all but guaranteed his retirement from pro League,” since by the time his ban is lifted, Vasilli will be 25 and out of practice.
The ex-pro player was also dropped from Newbee, who was quick to drop a statement on Twitter and Facebook soon after the disturbing footage aired.
Although it’s been reported that Vasilii won’t be charged for the threats of violence, it’s clear that his bad temper has finally caught up with him.
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