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Riot suspends two League of Legends pros for 'toxic behavior'

League of Legends has long had a reputation for toxic behavior -- which Riot has been striving to correct. Yesterday, it banned two pro players for the remainder of 2014.
Yesterday, Riot Games announced via the official League of Legends forums that players Alfonso "Mithy" Aguirre Rodriguez and Erlend "Nukeduck" Holm were banned for the rest of the year due to "extremely toxic behavior" -- for his part, Aguirre Rodriguez was singled out for "continual use of racial slurs." Riot cited section 9.2.9 of its Challenger Series Ruleset, available here, in explaining the bans: "A Team Member may not engage in any activity which is deemed by the LCS to be immoral, disgraceful, or contrary to the conventional standards of proper ethical behavior." Both players were members of the Ninjas in Pyjamas League of Legends pro team but were dropped from its roster after this incident. The League of Legends quickly community gained a reputation for toxicity; the company announced a Tribunal system in 2011 to help "humanize" players and stop abuses. The company later hired psychologists to try and create systems that would engender positive interactions between players, and has also explored neuroscience techniques to the same end. Previously, the company had banned another pro player, Christian "IWillDominate" Rivera, in 2012. He was allowed to return late last year.

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