Riot Games Unbans Tyler1, A Player It Once Called A 'Genuine Jerk'

Riot Games confirmed to Kotaku that it has lifted the indefinite ban on Twitch League of Legends streamer Tyler1.

Initial news of the ban came from Tyler1's Twitter account, where he said that, "AFTER 613 DAYS OF INTENSE REHAB I AM FINALLY UNBANNED FROM LEAGUE OF LEGENDS."

Tyler1 -- a talented player who specialises in playing as the spinning-axe wielding Draven -- was banned from League of Legends indefinitely in 2015. Action was taken due to a "well-documented history" of verbal abuse, intentional feeding (dying to the enemy team on purpose), as well as account sharing and purchasing, evasion of sportsmanship systems and player harassment.

In a 2015 statement from Riot Games, systems designer Socrates said any account used by him will be banned immediately upon identification.

"We know we're not perfect, and this dragged on too long," wrote Socrates. "But we want you to know when the rare player comes along who's a genuine jerk, we've still got your back."

Over time, Tyler's narrative became one of reformation: Can a toxic player truly turn himself around? In the meantime he kept streaming, playing games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. In 2016, League of Legends commentator David "Phreak" Turley said that Tyler1's ban could be reviewed. "If he actually reforms, we might unban him," said Turley.

In October 2017, a Riot employee slid into a public Discord channel and called Tyler a "homunculus." Angry about how much "bullshit" Tyler has caused for them, the employee wrote "he'll die from a coke overdose or testicular cancer from all the steroids.. then we'll be gucci." The employee was later fired after Riot issued an apology.

Meanwhile, Tyler received an email that he showed to his stream, saying that he will be unbanned if accounts he has played on in the last month are "clean," or not ban-worthy. Riot Games also released a statement classifying Tyler's ban as an "identity-level ban," as it's a ban on a person rather than a specific account.

Tyler revealed the news today via Twitter, before announcing his plan to start streaming League of Legends again starting Monday. While Riot did not release an official statement on the matter, Riot Games flack Ryan Ringey left a coy Reddit post.

"As we've said before, we don't comment on the ban status of ID [identity] banned players," wrote Ringey. "On a totally unrelated note, my desk at work is looking clean af right now." Attached was a picture of Ringey's desk, with a mousepad from Tyler1's website that says "Tyler1 REFORMED."


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