Riot Games has placed a ban on professional League of Legends player Christian Rivera (IWillDominate). "His persistent tendency to engage in verbal abuse and insults, his lack of cordial demeanor, and his treatment of less-skilled players is unacceptable for any player, especially a high-profile professional player who has a regular opportunity to lead the community by example," the company wrote.
IWillDominate "has been in Tribunal nine times and punished eight times, including the most recent permanent ban. He has a persistent record of in-game harassment, verbal abuse, offensive language and negative attitude. Despite the punishments and official warnings, his harassment score has risen more than 30% from early August to the present date, placing him at the top of the list of North American pro players and among the worst 0.7% of all North American players."
A separate post from Riot's VP of eSports admitted that "The decision to impact someone's career is not one we make lightly, which is why this is tough news to deliver." Continuing: "We fully understand that there are other pro players who behave poorly from time to time, and we do not condone any unsportsmanlike behavior. It's important to note how severe and consistent the behavior of this particular individual was, as is outlined in the ruling. No other professional players in NA approach this individual’s harassment score -- that said, we monitor all pro player behavior actively and we will continue to make that clear to all pro teams, and will take necessary action should any other players demonstrate unacceptable behavior in the future."
While undoubtedly a bad position to be in, this seems like the obvious right move. Making exceptions for pro players certainly would not help the game's reputation of having an ... unforgiving community, and this should hopefully serve as a learning opportunity for all parties involved. Don't be a jerk on the internet! It's really that simple.