Apparently, League of Legends team Rich Gang eThugs really live up to their reputation. The squad of Australians competing in Oceanic Pro League (OPL) just suffered their third Riot Games competitive ruling suspension in as many months.
The “ethugs,” as they style themselves, are quite the controversial team in the Oceanic region. Manager Stevie “poopsteve420” Highroller (if that’s really his real name) promotes the team with short highlight clips and social media by parodying thug life.
Many fans don’t appreciate the fact that Poopsteve and his team don’t seem to be taking professional League seriously. If you’d believe the Rich Gang, Riot Games doesn’t appreciate it either. This semi-ironic Facebook post, firmly in Rich Gang character, states Riot is “target banning our players as our image doesn’t match the desired image that they are striving to achieve.”
Based off their rap sheet, you can almost believe it.
On Jan. 30, former member Sam “Paws” Pourzinal (creator of the infamous Dunk Squad video) was permanently banned from League of Legends after being found guilty of elo boosting, an act for which he had already been punished one year prior.
On Feb. 27, Rich Gang’s “Dayshifted” was suspended from competing in the OPL for seven weeks for “a severe and hateful level of verbal harassment” including “sexual harassment and exhortation to commit suicide.”
Today, March 19, Andre “Rich Homie Dre” Brandle suffered his own seven-week suspension from OPL, after being reported in 25 percent of his games this month, and 40 percent in the last two weeks.
. @RICHGANGoce they will target ban our players but they can never ban the true spirit of RG
Ride and die bro rg for life
— Ron De Young (@MonkSSBM) March 19, 2015
The team manager Poopsteve conducted an AMA on r/leagueoflegends at the start of this month, noting that the squad’s teamspeak is a “vitriolic place” and that “Dayshifted” couldn’t turn that off. Brandle, he wrote, “toes the line regarding taking things too far rather well right now.” Well, apparently “right now” really meant that very moment, since shortly after it Mr. Homie Dre was “harassing” players with “abusive comments and offensive taunts.”
Many in the Oceanic scene are not surprised by the ruling, though some are surprised Riot Games is finally being so proactive about player behavior in the region. The server does not yet feature a tribunal system like on larger servers, which has created an environment with increased toxicity. An increase in vigilance is likely warranted.
Brandle wasn’t the only player suspended today. Richard “Perfection” Shu of the second place team Dire Wolves received a one-week suspension for “using offensive language.”
Whether or not you enjoy the whole Rich Gang shtick, it’s clear some of them have taken things a bit too far. Brandle is obviously not remorseful over his behavior, especially considering this exchange on Twitter:
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(Sorry, this embed was not found.)Oce_pr0 is Brandle, and Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw is the team’s former support. He was ousted after he allegedly tried to remove other members in conjunction with the team’s coach and reneged on an agreement to share prize money with the banned Pourzinal, who played support for Rich Gang during qualifying for the OPL. Shaw’s father reportedly passed away from cancer when Shaw was 15, a sore spot for Brandle to make a dig after an innocuous tweet about his own suspension.
Of course, the Oceanic scene may not be subject to the Rich Gang for too much longer. The squad has a 3-7 record, ranked sixth in the league, placing them in line for relegation to the Summer qualifier. It’ll be tough for the crew to keep going with half the team in Riot jail. But, as they’d say, even with all the hate, you can’t keep a homie down.