Manager Fired From Pro League of Legends Team After He Threatened Player

German team Meet Your Makers parts ways with manager over comments made to a player looking to leave the team.

Just a week after the most recent major League of Legends controversy was settled comes another report of a scandal surrounding the massively popular PC MOBA.

German professional League of Legends team Meet Your Makers (MYM) have fired their manager Sebastian “Falli” Rotterdam after it was revealed that he threatened a player in an effort to keep him from quitting the squad. Writing on Facebook, MYM announced that Rotterdam had been “released” from the team, though the group later explains the situation more bluntly, saying he was “fired.” The in-depth Facebook post explains the drama and what MYM is doing to combat future problems.

Among other things, MYM says it will host “1-on- 1” sessions with its players and a neutral party with the objective of understanding management areas that need improvement. The team also hopes it will be able to more proactively identity similar issues going forward as a result of the 1-on-1 meetings.

But that’s not all.

“We’ve always trusted our managers to do what’s best for the players and exercise discretion in their decision making. In this instance, our trust has been abused,” MYM said. “Going forward, we will host regular bi-monthly chats with all players and management to keep updated on any ongoing concerns. Management will also need to ask for approval from the CEO for any decisions involving player changes so that ultimate responsibility lies with CEO Khaled Naim.”
Check out the full, lengthy Facebook post for a further explanation of the controversy and what MYM is doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The Daily Dot was the first to report on the MYM scandal. Editor Richard Lewis wrote that Rotterdam threatened a player looking to leave the team by saying he would make sure the player’s mother–who apparently signed his contract–“would lose the house” she lives in.

Rotterdam later apologized for his remarks, saying it was a “big mistake” to say such things. He also said he would be willing to step down from his position as a result of the fallout, something he’s now done.

This is the second League of Legends scandal to come to light in as many weeks.

Last week, a Philippines-based eSports organization drew controversy concerning new League of Legends rules that stipulated a team would be limited to one gay or transgender woman per squad over fears that they “probably have some unfair advantage.” The group, Garena, has since apologized and changed course.

How to Fix Toxicity in League of Legends

Riot Games recently announced a new initiative in which they will be rewarding non-toxic players with a Mystery Gift if they haven’t been chat restricted or suspended/banned within the last year. This effort is the latest in a long line of attempts to reduce toxicity in the League of Legends online community.

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League of Legends is infamous in the gaming community for being infested with trolls and so-called “toxic” players. Riot has literally spent years trying to combat it through various methods. Many players probably remember the Tribunal which allowed other players to vote on whether to punish or pardon other players’ reported behavior. The Tribunal was riddled with flaws which I helped to point out and was eventually torn down and replaced with a new chat restriction system.

The new system is automated which means other players no longer vote to punish you. That’s a step in the right direction at least. Instead, the system apparently applies a chat restriction to you if you get reported a certain number of times, or if you get reported in a certain percentage of your games. This system, while better than the Tribunal, is also plagued with serious flaws such as the fact it doesn’t have the ability to judge behavior improvements. This has ultimately caused lots of players to be chat restricted pretty much permanently. The chat restriction system hurts the game overall for reasons I wrote about in a previous article. In short, when a player is chat restricted it is not only punishing him/her but also punishing all of his/her allies in subsequent games which they can no longer effectively communicate with. Obviously these people did nothing so why should they be punished?

As previously mentioned, Riot is now trying something else by focusing on rewarding good players instead of simply punishing the bad ones. Will this help cut back on toxicity? The answer is probably not.

The reason this won’t help things is because toxic players and trolls don’t care about mystery rewards. If you’re trolling in a game that by definition means you don’t care about it so why would some in-game gift be any incentive to stop? Not to mention how nobody knew about this reward until after the fact.

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So how can Riot actually cut back on toxicity in the game? The solution is actually quite simple. First off, they need to completely remove All Chat from the game. There is absolutely no reason to have this feature in League of Legends. You don’t need to converse with the other team during or even before/after the game. You don’t need to say “Good Game.” You don’t need to discuss what’s happening in the game with your enemies. All Chat is nothing more than a breeding ground for toxic behavior like taunting and insults. It unnecessarily provides an opportunity for players to act like jerks to their opponents. If you look at a game like Hearthstone, you can’t chat with your opponent at all in that game. What point would there be? So step one of “curing” toxicity in League of Legends is to remove All Chat completely.

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The next step in fixing toxic behavior is to change chat restrictions so that if you do get chat restricted, it simply means you’re auto-muted for a certain number of games and that teammates and proactively choose to unmute you. Other games online such as Halo and Call of Duty use a system like this where if you have been disruptive in past games, you will be automatically muted in future games. Teammates can then choose to unmute you so that you can communicate during the game. This system would be far superior to the current one which doesn’t even allow you to talk with your friends that you have queued with if you have a chat restriction. That’s dumb.

The third and final step is for Riot Games to stop focusing on chat behavior and start focusing on actual in-game behavior. People who AFK at the fountain or rage-quit matches ruin entire games for people and should be dealt with accordingly. There are legitimate trolls like people who sell all their items and feeders. These are the players Riot needs to be dealing with.

Riot also needs to crack down on those who falsely report other players because they’re mad at them. As mentioned previously, the current chat restriction system kicks in automatically once you reach a certain threshold of reports. This means it still hurts you to get reported even if that report is not true. For example, if someone is queued with a full party it is likely they will get all of their friends to report you as well. Receiving five reports in one game is gonna hurt you.

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This actually happened to me personally in a Dominion game. Despite the fact I didn’t say anything at all or do anything objectionable in-game, a player and his two friends reported me because they didn’t like me. Luckily for me, these false reports were caught on video because the user was livestreaming at the time. He readily admitted on his stream “we’re trying to get this guy banned by reporting him every chance we get.” Fortunately I wasn’t punished for their reports, likely because I sent the URL of the video to Riot via a support ticket. But there’s obviously not always going to be video evidence to exonerate you which is why false reports should be taken seriously.

The report system is perhaps one of the most abused features in League of Legends because angry players will often report you for doing well as a means of “getting back” at you. Thus far Riot has done nothing to quell false reports as far as I’m aware. Perhaps they should implement a system where if you report someone and they don’t get punished within a certain timeframe, your report counts against you instead. People who file a false police report in real life get charges brought up against them. The same threat of rebounding punishment should hold true for falsely reporting people in League of Legends. This would discourage players from reporting others unless absolutely necessary instead of just hitting the report button willy-nilly as so many players seem to do.

IT TURNS OUT SPENDING LIMITS ARE AN AWFUL IDEA AFTER ALL

So I posited earlier this week that the notion of a spending limit, enforced by the game’s developer, would be a maybe-sort-of-maybe-not-that-awful idea for free-to-play games. Magicman and I spent a chunk of time in the latest F2P Cast talking about it too, and he agreed that he mostly liked the idea as well and didn’t think it was truly awful.

Last night, completely by accident, I came across an article about the South Korean gaming market, where it looks like my idea was implemented, albeit forcibly by the government:

“YEARS AGO, THE GOVERNMENT SET A CURFEW AT GAME CAFES AND STOPPED ONLINE GAME PLAY AFTER 10PM. IN FEBRUARY THIS WENT A STEP FURTHER AS THE GOVERNMENT ESSENTIALLY CAPPED GAMING REVENUE. TODAY, AN INDIVIDUAL IN KOREA CAN SPEND NO MORE THAN US$300 ON ONLINE GAMES PER MONTH.”

Interesting. So, what were the results? Was it as I suggested, that the goodwill generated by such a move would counteract the loss of the most extreme whales and that it might encourage players to spend, knowing that the games would be on a more (relatively) even field?

THE RULE DEVASTATED GAME DEVELOPERS. NHN TOOK A 50 PERCENT LOSS ACROSS CERTAIN GAME GENRES, NEOWHIZ UNDERTOOK MASSIVE LAYOFFS, AND CJNET REPORTED A 24 PERCENT LOSS IN REVENUES YEAR ON YEAR.

Oh. Well, that’s not so good. Still, a lot of the games over there are probably using “bad” F2P models that blatantly exploit players by locking off content, or are pay-to-win, or go crazy with the gacha, a.k.a. random lockboxes. I’m sure a good and fair F2P game could still do all right.

MANY ONLINE GAMERS SPENT ALL OF THEIR MONEY ON LEAGUE OF LEGENDS AND WHEN THEY HIT THE LIMITS, FLED TO MOBILE DEVICES WHERE THEY COULD PLAY UNINHIBITED.

Seriously? League of Legends? How do you spend more than $300/month on League of frickin’ Legends?

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I realize that they may run things a little different over on that side of the Pacific, but I booted up my LoL launcher and took a look at the store. $300 would get me 45,000 Riot points, if I bought three packs of $100/15,000 RP each. The worst I could do — and I’m sure some people do this — is to buy my RP $5 at a time, in which case $300 would net me 39,000 RP.

39,000 RP would buy me:
* About 50 champion unlocks, going by average champion RP price on my unpurchased champs; or
* About 47 skins, going by the average RP price for skins I have available to purchase; or
* A “combo pack” of a month’s worth of IP/XP boosts, every ward skin, ever summoner icon, seven pages of runes, a summoner name change, and transfer to each of the other eight regions

Remember, this is all per month. Who unlocks 50 champions every month?