When a streamer breaks the world record for concurrent numbers on a personal stream it's usually a day for celebration. When this streamer has a notorious past of being toxic and distruptive for years it welcomes a controversy.
On Monday, Tyler "Tyler1" Steinkamp was that streamer, leaving the LoL community — and part of our crew — split in their opinions. To argue it out, Cybersport.com's Tim "@TimPAshton" Ashton and Aleksei "@Aleksei_Lushni" Louchnikov sit on the opposite sides of the table for a clash in viewpoints.
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Yes, but is popularity our only relevant metric? Does it even make sense to set a series of rules and standards for acceptable behaviour, if they’re just going to cave under pressure?
The bans were set in place, because he ruined the game experience for literally countless players. You don’t get ID banned for throwing a game or having a bad day. You get ID banned for being an active force of disruption toward the very community Riot’s trying to protect. Isn’t unbanning a thing, hurting the community, just because parts of the community wants it, the same as letting a child eat sugar all the time, if it cries enough?
Won't this harm the community in the long run?
But at what cost? One could argue that the message Riot is also sending everyone is that they don’t have to abide by their own rules. If a player gets ID banned, but builds a reputation around circumventing said ban with an endless stream of accounts, 20 of which are subsequently also banned, then should we really be celebrating this?
I’d argue that while this was a nice cash cow for everyone involved, I’m not sure what it’ll do for the community. Reformed or not, we’re celebrating someone closely tied to toxicity. Riot initially made the rules to protect the community from bad experiences, and yet here we are, showing everyone that not only will these sanctions not hold (despite continuously breaking the rules around the ban), but we’ll also end up enjoying the whole ordeal.
There will likely not be another Tyler1 in terms of success. But the toxic players are a dime a dozen, and this whole situation might very well legitimize and inspire the lot of them. One could argue that this is a loss for the community as a whole.
Riot's ruling inconsistency
Is it that simple though? I know Riot doesn’t dictate what it’s casters say, but in today’s world, anyone with Riot in their name might as well be speaking for the company — the Sanjuro incident was apt reminder of that.
It’s hard not to see this as anything but endorsement of his return, which is weird considering Riot has been fighting to uphold this ban for a long time. Now they’re celebrating the unbanning themselves? Then what was the purpose of the ban? At a time where Likkrit faces a ban for criticism and Tyler was banned and ostracized, only to be welcomed back with open arms at the turn of the tide, this gives the impression that bans aren’t based on principles or rules, but on whims.
It makes it all look petty, which again, hurts the community. How can you trust a system like that? What message does that send?
What message is this ultimately sending?
But they also come off as inconsistent. This whole ordeal can end up hurting Riot's credibility. Iron fist or no, it almost looks like the ban was handed out due to vague moral codes and guidelines, but when it became worth their while to ignore this and revoke the ban, they did. This loses them the claim that they’re truly doing it for the community, and instead, we’re left with the impression that the community merely serves as a convenient excuse, but apply enough pressure and at the end of the day, the ban itself becomes arbitrary.
For the next generation of griefers and anti-social players, the message here seems clear. Don’t abstain from toxic behaviour, just double down on it and soldier on. Eventually, you too can lead the glorious new uprising vs Riots regime. The victims aren’t Tyler1 or Riot, but the viewers that have to be sacrificed along the way.
Where do you stand on Tyler1's return? Were Riot in their right to pardon him or should have have stayed in ban jail forever? Is this good or damaging to the community overall?
Tell us in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.