Riot Games walked into a PR problem after they banned one streamer following a report from a bigger streamer. League of Legends community split in support for each side but the controversy brought Riot's preferential treatment to light.
Update: Nightblue also got banned after all. Date of the ban is 21 June 2019. The original article is as follows.
League of Legends' high-profile streamer, Rabia "Nightblue3" Yazbek found himself in a queue with a smaller streamer, Nubrac, who is known in the high ranking community as a less than pleasant teammate.
By the end of the game, Nightblue would threaten Nubrac with a two-week suspension, which eventually happened. The guy no one likes playing with got banned, so what's the harm, right?
Well, several things are wrong with the big picture. Nubrac actually tried his best to win the game while Nightblue was raging and flaming him from the spawn point while doing nothing other than threatening to pull strings at Riot Games to get the infamous Teemo player banned.
In the end, it was Nubrac who played Teemo that tried to win and got banned while the person who was toxic actually managed to come through on his threat.
The video above shows slices of both streamers' perspectives and the reason why Nightblue got upset is Nubrac's unconventional champion and strategy. He played Teemo as support which already doesn't mix and instead of supporting the carry in the bottom lane, he supported his mid laner.
This strategy proved to be annoying for Nubrac's teammates but it's hard to argue it was not a viable one. Thanks to the team compositions, a Teemo supporting Irelia in mid lane proved to be an efficient move since they denied the enemy mid-laner's farming extremely well within the first three minutes and managed to score the first kill of the game that netted Nubrac's mid-laner even more gold.
Meanwhile, a solo Sivir in bottom lane was still able to farm decently, with her creep score loss being much lighter than that of the enemy mid-laner.
Usually, three minutes wouldn't be enough to judge a strategy but all things were going well for Nubrac and Nightblue's team so far. It was not enough for Nightblue and at this point in time the latter was already flaming and threatening Nubrac.
Granted, Nubrac looks like an innocent victim so far, but it turns out that he kept annoying other highly ranked players for a long time, with some remembering him from Season 4 which was five years ago. More high profile players testified to unpleasant experiences with Nubrac in their team, neatly summed up in a single Reddit thread. Needless to say, high-level players are generally glad he is gone, at least temporarily.
The real problem is unveiled with the mention of Nubrac running rampant since Season 4 though. Season 4 was during 2014, meaning Nubrac has been around for five years and he hasn't been dealt with.
All that it took now was a direct report to Riot Games from a single high-profile streamer and Nubrac was gone. To make matters worse, Nightblue himself was far from being an exemplary teammate.
The embedded video above clearly shows extremely toxic behaviour that included boasting about having connections at Riot Games that gave him the power to get a teammate banned.
It also shows Nightblue attempting to write out derogatory terms on several occasions but refrains from doing so because Riot Games keep in-game chat logs and would have visual evidence of his inappropriate actions. Then again, threatening to get someone banned due to using his status and preferential treatment should be just as punishable.
Considering at least two other teammates reported Nubrac during that game, it would be unfair to claim Riot Games banned him based on Nightblue's report alone but then a screenshot from Discord surfaced. It revealed that Nubrac was not initially banned but Nightblue's personal vendetta led him to demand a ban two days after the incident.
The video above shows Nubrac's suspension notice that lists only one game as the infraction that got him banned which confirmed that it was, in fact, Nightblue's insistence that was crucial to the suspension being applied.
In a nutshell - Riot Games banned a player, simply because a high-profile streamer demanded so, in a case where they would normally require more evidence or repeated reports. Said streamer, Nightblue, was extremely toxic in front of thousands of viewers while seeking vengeance on Nubrac and yet he did not get so much of a punishment as slap on the wrist.
It really brings about questions about Riot Games' integrity and preferential treatment. The latter is especially problematic since they are still struggling with the allegations of sexism within the company and showing preferential treatment in their game is not going to do them any favours.