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Riot Games suspend streamer's partnership after speaking up

Published: 14:42, 12 June 2020
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Hai "Hai" Du Lam
Hai "Hai" Du Lam

League of Legends streamer, team owner and former pro, Hai, has recently been chat restricted under dubious circumstances and he took the matter to public over Twitter. Soon after that, his partnership status with Riot Games was suspended.

Hai "Hai" Du Lam, is possibly best known as a long time midlaner for several LCS teams, with his stay at Cloud 9 being the most prominent part of his career. He is now a streamer, LCS caster and team owner. Those who followed LCS and his own careers in various League of Legends fields consider Hai to be a positive personality all around and yet he has run into a series of punishments from Riot Games.

It all started with a chat restriction. League of Legends is well known for toxicity in the gaming world and Riot Games have a system that is meant to prevent verbal abuse. However, it sometimes misfires and it appears to be the case in Hai's situation as he only berated two players who went AFK after a sub-optimal start of a match.

As per usual with these types of restrictions, Riot provided a chat log of the game where the "infraction" took place, all of which you can see on a clip from Hai's stream . One would be hard-pressed to interpret Hai's words as toxicity as he didn't say anything negative about the teammates before they actually gave up and condemned the team to a loss.

Even then, the harshest words in the log seem to be about the AFKers having a "shit attitude" and subsequently "awful attitude" that also "sucks". In a normal ecosystem, these could qualify as restriction-worthy offences but even then it would be questionable since they were directed at players who went AFK in a competitive game and took any chances of their team winning away.

Still, Hai agreed that some of his words were restriction-worthy but also called out Riot for not banning the two players whose behaviour started the entire negativity episode. The system flaw caught a lot of attention among the League of Legends community and two days after calling Riot's flawed system out, Hai was put on probation .

As a result, his League Partnership Program (LPP) privileges will be unavailable for the next three months. These include fully unlocked League accounts, skin giveaways, Twitch Rivals participation "and other event opportunities".

Riot Games were not really specific about the reason for the probation in the message sent to Hai, only stating that his honour level and behaviour were "not in accordance with LPP guidelines".

The kicker here is that the LPP roster contains several players who have been chat restricted repeatedly but were not on probation at the time. As Tyler1 himself pointed out , he repeatedly got the restriction along with Christian "IWillDominate" Rivera, Mohammad "Moe" Abdalrhman and Ashkan "TFBlade" Homayouni. 

Riot Games League of Legends - Yasuo splash art League of Legends - Yasuo

Soon after that part of the stream, Tyler1 and Moe were put on probation as well. Due to lack of evidence, it remains inconclusive whether Riot Games suddenly got new management for curbing toxicity or they are simply taking retrospective action after suspending Hai's LPP privileges. 

However, it does seem more than coincidence that the company has taken disciplinary measures against partnered streamers after months of ignoring their misconduct, right after Hai was suspended after a mere chat restriction.

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