In League of Legends, picking a random troll champion like Trundle mid will likely get you reported, especially if it leads to a surrender at 20 minutes.
Do it in a League of Legends pro game, and you might get fined $8,000.
That’s what happened to season 4 world champion Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong of Vici Gaming after he picked Jayce in the support role during the third game of a five map set against Invictus Gaming during the Demacia Cup.
Cho’s club Vici Gaming has fined him 50,000 yuan as he “did not fulfill the basic duties and show due respect,” according to an announcement on the team’s social media account. Chinese League competitive governing body ACE will also look into the issue.
That may seem like a stiff penalty, but Cho’s behavior seems to extend beyond just a troll pick in a specific match. Vici Gaming lost all three games against Invictus Gaming by surrendering at 33 minutes, 24 minutes, and finally 20 minutes in the game with Jayce.
Zhou “NoName” Qi-lin, the former captain of Chinese immigrant team LMQ during their time in the League Championship Series, called out Cho for his lack of professionalism after the performance. Cho reportedly played games two and three of the series idling in game, using one hand, and clearly not giving a competitive effort.
“Spirit, Dade, and Looper [Note: all Korean players from top teams who signed big contracts in China] all have worse results on their respective teams but you don’t see them troll like that,” Zhou wrote. “The club spent so much money to sign you and you repay them like this? Is this how you pay tribute to your fans and the audience?”
Cho came to Vici Gaming a superstar, the best support player in the world and the MVP of the Season 4 World Championships. Samsung Galaxy White teammate Choi “DanDy” In-kyu joined alongside him, giving Vici the best jungler and support in the world in theory. Vici Gaming had high hopes entering the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) season. But it has not worked out as planned. Vici Gaming currently sits fifth in the LPL standings with a 4-8-3 series record built on a 16-14 map score. That’s hardly the worst performance, as Zhou points out: Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon moved from Samsung Blue, 2014’s most dominant team, to World Elite, who are last place with a 1-6-8 LPL record. But Cho is the one acting out in games on stage.
When you’re a casual player frustrated with some bad performances and want to relieve the stress with a joke game on support Jayce, that’s one thing. But when you’re paid a contract lucrative enough to lure you across the sea to play in a foreign country, you’ve got a professional obligation to perform at your best. An $8,000 fine may sound steep at first glance, but when you consider what they’re paying him, it only makes sense.
Maybe that’s what Riot Games needs to win their war with “toxicity.” Start docking people’s RP and IP and they’ll shape up real fast.
Image via Riot Games