Most people would tell you toxicity is something we should strive to avoid in games. One big YouTuber, however, doesn't just embrace toxicity — he thinks it's one of the few things that make games like League of Legends fun.
Last week, we wrote about Dunkey, a YouTube jokester who had been banned from League of Legends due to "toxic behaviour." Last weekend, he actually shared what actually got him banned. In his own words, this is what was said right before he got banned:
It's no wonder Dunkey was banned — it's a pretty over-the-top message, even if the other player was "feeding" the other team kills. Dunkey doubles down on his shit talk in the following video, and lashes out at Riot for banning him:
His rationale? Not only did Dunkey's teammate deserve those harsh words, trash talking actually makes the game more fun for Dunkey.
"I can understand being banned for cheating, or going AFK...or feeding on purpose," Dunkey said. "But talking shit to some guy that is a total dumbass? What is this, fucking arse pussy baby preschool time?
"Talking shit is probably one of the only fun parts of this boring arse game. I might as well play the box if you want people to act like robots, Riot. I wonder if [Riot] understand[s] that the root of toxicity is the game, it's just not fun and it pisses people off.
"Let me be serious here, League of Legends doesn't work as a competitive game or a fun party game to play with your friends. As of today, I have more than eight thousand matches played on this game, so I have some legitimate grounds to review the game on," Dunkey said, before explaining some of the design decisions he takes issue with within League of Legends.
Dunkey goes on to say that he's put in a lot of work and time into making his League of Legends videos, something which he feels makes him entitled to be treated differently than other players.
"I've been consistently putting out League videos since I started out on YouTube," Dunkey, who has 1.8 million followers on YouTube, said. "So I emailed Riot, I said hey, can you guys unban me so I can finish this video up?
"Now keep in mind, during my whole career of being the top guy promoting their game, for four years, Riot has done almost nothing to help me out or promote me. And I emailed them for this first and only favour, and they respond to me, 'nope, you're toxic.'
"And that's when I realised that this company doesn't appreciate me at all, or anything I stand for. I think multiplayer games should reward the time and practice you put into them, and that you should be able to call other people scum fuck bastards, and connect with your friends and have fun playing with them. And League of Legends offers none of these things. So I'm done with it."
Dunkey says that while he will continue making gaming videos on YouTube, League of Legends will not be a game that he covers anymore.
In the comments, his fans seem divided on the issue. Some obviously support him no matter what he does, and think he is in the right here. Others are surprised that he could behave in this way.
"Is this real? You got to be kidding me! Dunkey is the only reason why I play League," one commenter wrote.
"The salty tears are delicious," wrote another commenter. "If Dunkey really was toxic in most of his game, and chat logs would certainly indicate so, he deserved a punishment. He makes fun videos, but that doesn't mean he should be immune to rules. Pro players and their teams get punished if they're overly toxic and behave badly, and those are players who make a living off of this game. So why in the world would Riot punish them and treat entertainers like royalty?"
Riot, meanwhile, is not only steadfast in its banning decision — they're also pushing back on some of the details of Dunkey's story.
Many of us love Dunkey's content. We can discuss the contents of his Reform Card, but hate speech isn't OK in real life and isn't OK online.
— Jeffrey Lin (@RiotLyte) September 13, 2015
"We really can't show favoritism to someone just because they are a pro or a known content creator," Jeffrey Lin, lead game designer of social systems on League of Legends, wrote on Ask.Fm. Lin notes that whether or not trashtalking is OK in League is not up for debate, especially if hate speech or slurs are involved.
"We have a zero tolerance policy against hate speech, racism, homophobia, and sexism and that policy stands whether you're a random player, a pro player, or a Youtube celebrity," Lin said. Lin also alleged that the player that Dunkey describes in his video didn't exist in the game that actually got him banned — and that ultimately, even if he did, that would not be enough grounds to shit talk in the game.
"We know that players have been asking us to be more aggressive against intentional feeders for a while, and it has taken us a bit longer than we'd like," Lin admitted. To this end, Lin says that they are launching a new system that can detect when people are feeding the other team intentionally, which will hopefully be able to ban such players "within 15 minutes of matches." The system will be a cautious one, Lin says, and will hopefully not ding players who are just having an occasional bad game.
"At the end of the day, this incident sucks for everyone," Lin said. "We respect that Dunkey hasn't posted his Reform Card, and I'm not going to post it either. Best wishes to him in the future."