After an inconsistent performance ending with a string of losses during the last leg of the Summer Split, CLG surprised fans by announcing their plan to spend the next few weeks in Korea undergoing a team boot camp. Shortly after, they took off to Korea and left a roster of five substitutes for Week 11 of the LCS.
While the games ended up being crowd pleasers for the most part and going 0-4 didn’t hurt CLG’s chances at the regional playoffs, Riot wasn’t exactly pleased. A short notice coupled with a disregard for the competition wasn’t unnoticed.
Today, however, not only was it noticed—it was actually punished. At least their violations of the Terms of Service were, anyway.
Official Word From Riot Games
In an announcement written early this morning on LolEsports.com, Riot issued an official statement showing what actions will be taken against individual players on CLG’s roster. In particular, due to a miscommunication, it seems that CLG was unable to get live accounts on Korea to play and were given tournament realm accounts instead. Because of the miscommunication, CLG used other Korean player’s accounts to be able to scrim and participate on the Korean solo queue ladder during their stay in the country. Account sharing is an offense that Riot historically takes seriously, but it’s even worse in Korea. In Korea, to get a League of Legends account, an individual must have a Korean social security number (KSNN) so accounts are very closely monitored and tied to one’s identity.
As such, Riot is punishing CLG for using Korean accounts that were not their own. They are fining four of the team’s players-- Austin "Link" Shin, Marcel "dexter" Feldkamp, Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, Zaqueri "Aphromoo" Black--$1,250 USD each for violating section 10.2.7 of the official LCS ruleset which states:
“If LCS or Riot determines that a Team Member has violated the Summoner’s Code, the LoL Terms of [Use], or other rules of LoL, LCS officials may assign penalties at their sole discretion.”
In addition, Riot Korea decided to impose a much harsher ban. They effectively banned these players for the next two years from OGN and other KeSPA tournaments such as OGN Champions, Masters, and NLB.
It’s interesting in particular to contrast these punishments to past ones. Riot has given 14 day bans and season reward removal before when eight LCS players were found to be elo boosting—an offense which is a far more grievous than account sharing. In general, these fines seem to be heavy and the reaction harsh.
However, as League of Legends shoutcaster Zirene noted, “Punishment in KR is worse for account sharing because you attach your Korean Social Security Number to the account. It's identity theft.” It seems that Riot KR has laid down the law and clearly drawn the line of what’s acceptable.
Now all we have to do is see if CLG’s boot camp was worth its new and much costlier price tag.