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Should Tyler1 be unbanned from League of Legends?

Everyone seems to have a different take.

Riot Games

With all the ruckus involving popular streamer and personality Tyler1 popping up recently, everyone is wondering if he should be unbanned in League of Legends.

If you somehow don’t know, Tyler1 was a Challenger player in season 6, notorious for grieving, raging and trolling in high elo games. He was a Draven main and while he was a good player mechanically, he was extremely toxic. Since then, he has been permanently banned from League of Legends and he continues to stream as a variety streamer.

In the past year or so, some would say he has reformed. He’s learned how to control his temper and to some, has just become a funny, enjoyable guy to watch.

Seeing how he’s improved, should he be unbanned?

Ryan

Tyler1 is a jackass and I don’t mind saying it. I have played with people like him and I have played with his weird little “un-ban Tyler1” disciples. It is never a pleasant experience. I have written so many League horror stories here and while I can’t blame Tyler1 for any of them, he is kind of the representative for all toxic players in League.

And honestly, that is unfair.

Say what you will about Tyler1 (like that he is a jackass) but he does not deserve to be known as the father of League toxicity (a real idea that I have seen tossed around). Tyler1 is not the first shitty dude to play video games and he won’t be the last. The sad truth of it is that some people just suck, and find the suffering of others to be an enjoyable pass-time.

Would it surprise me if all the shitty people who I have played with were like “lololololol free Tyler1?” Of course it wouldn't. But I would be equally un-phased if they just said “who is Tyler1” before calling me a bunch of non-repeatable names.

Ultimately it comes down to a simple philosophy: nobody should be banned forever. I know, I hate it too. However, people change, people get better, people learn and yes, people grow up.

When you’re a kid or even a punk-ass teen, nothing is funnier than watching a cooky a-dult blow their stack because you did something stupid. You have a disconnected disregard for other people’s emotions because you are a kid and you suck. Not every kid is like this, but plenty of them are. And sadly, a lot of adults take a long time to figure that stuff out too.

Basically, none of us are perfect, and to suggest that someone can be banned forever by having done a bunch of stupid stuff five years ago is a little silly. Five years is the difference between 15 and 20, and while I know that Tyler1 was still being a jerk only a year ago, roll with me on this.

If a 15 year-old set your grass on fire you would shake your fist and chase them off your lawn. If a 20 year-old did the same thing you would look at them with a confused look of “god you should know better.” I don’t know how old Tyler1 is and I don’t care, it doesn’t actually matter. A year is a long time, especially if you used to play League every single day. Maybe it’s long enough to see the error of your ways.

Is Tyler1 in a better place than he was when he got banned? I don’t know. Only Tyler1 knows that. But he has been gone for over a year. With close monitoring, we should allow players to come back into the fold and prove that their time away from the game made them think a little bit about their behavior.

If these players haven’t changed, a few quick reports should send them back out of the community for another year or so. But if they stick around and treat their fellow Summoners like human beings rather than just internet randos, they deserve to stay like the rest of us.

Nobody is perfect and everybody is capable of growth and regret, even Tyler1.

Pete Volk

My opinion on this whole thing has changed a lot over the past year. If you asked me last year, I would have said keep him banned for good. In fact, when Polygon published an op-ed suggesting it might be time to let him play again, I was fairly outspoken in my opposition to the idea.

Now I’ve had some time away from the situation, and Tyler1 has had some time to grow, too. I’ve come to a few conclusions (and I don’t like all of them):

  • The behavior Tyler1 exhibited prior to his ban was unacceptable, and worthy of punishment.
  • The current climate around Tyler1 since his banning has not solved any of the problems Riot wished to address with his punishment. His ban clearly hasn’t prevented him from playing, and his status as a meme arguably encourages more toxicity.
  • Tyler1 seems to have grown a bit from this experience, and is no longer exhibiting the same behavior that led to his punishment (although it is very possible that I am missing something and/or his “reformed” status is another performance)
  • League has a massive teen player base, and with a massive teen player base comes shitty opinions and attitudes. Riot needs to do a much better job acting against that, but it’s not as simple as slapping a perma-ban on the most visible bad actor. Allowing another chance for reform could actually prove a good point for Riot — you can have fun and even talk trash while playing League without being an asshole
  • If Riot is committed to reforming player behavior, they should make room for bad actors to actually reform. This is probably the best public-facing opportunity they have to do so.

Austen

I’ll just come right out and say it: I think Tyler1 should be unbanned.

It’s the perfect chance for Riot to show to the community exactly what the point of its bans are in the first place. If the purpose of a ban is to get a player out of the community for good, fine, leave him banned. But I don’t think that’s what Riot wants. If Riot wants, as they have said in the past, for the ban system, both in-game and for high-profile players, to be about that player’s reform and cultivating a better community, then those players that get banned need to be given the chance to prove themselves to be better and more mature people.

This wouldn’t even be the first time that Riot has given a player a second chance after a ban for toxicity. Look at Cloud9 mid laner Nicolaj Jensen. Before he was a North American LCS star he was Incarnation, notoriously toxic EU Solo queue DDOSer. In 2013 he received a lifetime ban from the game. Riot’s always liked those show of force bans, but as other people in this discussion have said, I don’t think they are worthwhile and they certainly don’t help people reform their behavior or grow as people.

Beyond that, Tyler1 is one of the League’s most famous proprietors of toxicity, if he comes back to the game changed, a kinder teammate, focused on winning, who’s no less entertaining, or angry, Riot will have moved the conversation about toxicity and the need for reform miles with just one person. They will have taken the community’s most toxic player, whose reputation has remained firmly planted in the scene over the past year, and turned him into a force for good and example of what reform can look like. If he comes back and proves himself to be just as toxic to his teammates, so be it, the ban will be reinstated and Riot will have been proven right.

I’m not saying we should excuse the bad things that players like Jensen or Tyler1 have done in their past. What was wrong then is still wrong and treating teammates poorly is most certainly something that shouldn’t be tolerated. But sometimes forgiving those players when they have shown real signs of change is more important than holding onto the punishment’s that may seem fair.

Sure, keeping Tyler1 out if he is still toxic will help clean up solo queue a little, but Tyler1 has a lot of fans, and if he comes back and really is reformed, that’s a lot of people that could have their minds changed about toxicity all together.

Julia Lee

I’m not a Tyler1 expert. I see his clips and his behaviors from other people’s streams and it’d be easy to say that I’m not a huge fan of the guy. To me, he’s just one of those people who gained fame through a toxic method and I’m not typically about that life.

I definitely have my fair share of friends who love Tyler1 and I don’t resent them or hold anything against them for it. He’s a funny dude. Do I think he should be unbanned from League? No.

He, just like other people, has gotten a lifetime sentence for being overly toxic. Which means he’s gotten chat restrictions, temporary bans and all those other small warnings in the past. He had to be permanently banned before he learned that he should stop ruining games for other people.

If he gets unbanned, even after showing that he has “reformed,” what is that saying to other toxic players? That they can just dig up some proof of being a half-decent human being and then get their stuff unbanned? Shouldn’t that all have happened, I don’t know, after the several warnings the account gets?

We’ve seen pro players in the past get unbanned after being toxic and whatnot, I don’t necessarily think that’s right either. If the players aren’t actually meant to be banned permanently, just ban them for a year or something! (Though, this is more of a problem with how Riot deals with things rather than players being bad babies.)

Nothing against the dude. He can go play other games or stream IRL and be funny, but he bit the hand that fed a couple too many times. He got banned because, despite being warned multiple times that it was going to happen, he decided to “reform” himself after the ban came through.

It’s only fair to keep him banned, as per Riot’s rules. If unbanning him means Riot is going to start going through all previously banned toxic players to potentially unban them all because they also “reformed,” then fine. That’s fair. Unban Tyler1. Otherwise, keep that boy locked up.