If you’ve spent any time on the League of Legends subreddit in the past few weeks, chances are you’ve already had a taste of the drama that revolves around E-Sports Journalist Richard Lewis. If you’re a regular lurker like me, you’re already very, very tired of having so many posts and comments debating the ethical rights and wrongs of the whole sordid affair. I hope you’ll be patient enough to bear with me as we skim over that mess on our way to bigger issues.
For those lucky enough not to be intimately familiar with this situation, the commonly accepted analysis is as follows: Richard Lewis provides a valuable service to the League of Legends E-Sports following by breaking news of roster swaps and other tasty tidbits of drama well before official announcements. However, he is, for lack of better words, kind of an asshole. His attempts to respond to criticism often stooped to a grade school level of debate and eventually resulted in his ban from the League of Legends subreddit. Unfortunately, the drama did not end there, and eventually led to a much-maligned decision by the moderation team to ban all of Richard Lewis’ content from said subreddit.
I’m not going to delve into which party was right or wrong. Instead, I’d like to focus on the community’s stance regarding Richard Lewis and his content. A common mindset is that while Richard Lewis is an asshole and that’s bad, his content is still important and should be supported. Frankly, I find that mindset incredibly short-sighted and selfish. While the service he provides for followers of LoL E-Sports is certainly valuable, it is far from irreplaceable. There are plenty of up-and-coming journalists who would love a chance to break into this niche, and it would hardly be a challenge for them to surpass Richard Lewis in terms of standards and maturity. Why should we continue to support the work of such a toxic public figure?
It’s our responsibility as a community to set some basic standards for all members, no matter how popular, to live up to. Shouldn’t we ask for better behavior from our public figures, rather than accept worse because of how important they are?
Shouldn’t we expect better?