Riot Games has banned a professional League of Legends player for "persistent toxic behavior."
Here is the post from the League of Legends Community forums:
Today I’ve got some tough news to share with you. We take sportsmanship and player behavior very seriously, and we fundamentally believe that pro players should not be exempt from scrutiny over their behavior. In fact, we believe pros have an additional opportunity to act as positive role models for the entire community.
The decision to impact someone’s career is not one we make lightly, which is why this is tough news to deliver. Unfortunately, our Tribunal recently was forced to permanently ban a pro player as a response to his persistent toxic behavior, and after closely reviewing the individual’s case and history, the Riot eSports team has issued a ruling that follows this post.
We fully understand that there are other pro players who behave poorly from time to time, and we do not condone any unsportsmanlike behavior. It’s important to note how severe and consistent the behavior of this particular individual was, as is outlined in the ruling. No other professional players in NA approach this individual’s harassment score – that said, we monitor all pro player behavior actively and we will continue to make that clear to all pro teams, and will take necessary action should any other players demonstrate unacceptable behavior in the future.
Promoting good sportsmanship and improving player behavior is a mission that’s extremely important to Riot, and this ruling is a reflection of our commitment.
The next post in the thread, which is the ruling, states:
He has a persistent record of in-game harassment, verbal abuse, offensive language and negative attitude.
This follows up ArenaNet's move in August to suspend Guild Wars 2 players for bad behavior. At the time the consensus was that taking this action immediately after the game's launch was effective in setting the tone for good player behavior.
Game companies will take action against a harassing and abusive player regardless of the player's prominence. They do this because allowing a game community to become toxic reflects poorly on the game, and by driving players away can affect the company's bottom line.
As Riot Games stated, prominent members in a game's community (modders or professional players) are not exempt, and may even be subject to more scrutiny due to the fact that they serve as role models.