Is MOBA culture helplessly toxic? This classy ban acceptance says no

Tuesday, 3rd June 2014 05:17 GMT By Brenna Hillier

League of Legends, Dota 2 and other MOBA games have a reputation for incurably toxic player culture, but the fallout of a recent high-level ban suggests there’s hope yet.


In a recent pair of rulings detailed on the League of Legends forum, Riot Games elected to hand down bans to two well-known players.

Mithy and Nukeduck have both been “suspended from the League Championship Series and the Challenger Series through the end of 2014″ as a result of “extremely toxic behaviour” including “in game harassment, verbal abuse and continual use of racial slurs” as well as “general toxicity”.

Both players have received punishment for toxicity in the past, and had their accounts chat restricted, but continued to violate the Summoner’s Code. Both have been reported by other players in 30% of their matches of the past month, and Mithy is so notorious as to be one of the top 1% of all EUW players in terms of harrassment score.

Given the behaviour the pair were called out on you might expect them to respond with more abuse, but in fact Mithy issued a pretty classy response on Twitter.

That almost makes me believe online gaming isn’t always going to be dominated by apparently incurable jerks.

Unfortunately, Nukeduck wasn’t quite so dignified, claiming to have received no warnings about his behaviour despite Riot’s documentation to the contrary.

Their next tweet actually sounds a little ominous:

If you’ve never played a MOBA, it can be a bit intimidating. Not only is there a pretty steep learning curve, but the scene is fiercely competitive, and toxic culture is rife. Luckily, League of Legends, Dota 2 and so on are free, so there’s no outlay to put you off, and if you can find some friends to show you the ropes you could be jungling like a pro in no time.

Thanks, Polygon.



  1. Panthro

    Gamer culture in general is helplessly toxic.

    The hobby is full of sociopaths and idiots.

    Suppose if they didn’t have something to take up there time they might start nailing kittens to garden fence, so atleast there’s that.

    #1 7 months ago
  2. Talkar

    Relevant: :D

    #2 7 months ago
  3. Obernox

    ^LMAO! somebody needs to do a MOBA version :D

    #3 7 months ago
  4. CyberMarco


    #4 7 months ago
  5. NinjaMidget


    Completely disagree. If you give players the affordances to actually respect each other then I believe you can foster a community that prizes respecting opponents.

    Look at Guns of Icarus, Blade Symphony, and Nidhogg as great examples! (although they are smaller games compared to DOTA and LoL)

    #5 7 months ago
  6. Tormenter

    Of course the entire culture is toxic.. IT’S FOR CHILDREN.. call them teens if you want, but they are naught but screaming kids.

    The Moba scene has too much money and not enough oversight.. and these little brats just run rampant.

    It’s time the entire ‘competitive gaming’ area was rethought from the ground up to remove ALL of this behaviour.. screw suspensions it’s times for permbans.

    But there’s money to be made so everything else takes a back seat including morality and ethics.

    I can’t help feel that the entire scene is actually encouraged to be bad because nothing makes money like controversy.

    #6 7 months ago
  7. TheWulf


    Pretty much. This is why I tend to play games with more average people in them with the microphone and voice off, and then when I do want to interact, I play games that those people would never play in their lives. (Like Smashmuck Champions. I do like me some Smashmuck.)

    Heh. Had a funny experience with Smashmuck and a friend. I tried to get him into it since a lady friend and I love it. And he admitted right off the bat that it wasn’t competitive enough, more importantly, it wasn’t toxic enough. A lot of the people who play MOBAs actually enjoy them because of the toxicity, anger, and reliance on one’s instincts rather than reason or intellect.

    The weak explanation I got was ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do in that moment, what my tactics will be, when I’m dealing with someone that genuinely hates me and refuses to cut me any slack. In those moments, against such violent adversaries, I lose myself and I find that enjoyable.’

    He does.

    I don’t.

    His attitude is common.

    Mine isn’t.

    #7 7 months ago
  8. TheWulf


    “If you give players the affordances to actually respect each other then I believe you can foster a community that prizes respecting opponents.”

    Then why have I never seen that in my life?

    The only time I’ve ever seen that is in friendly, cooperative games, or games where the balance is based more around dumbshit luck rather than anything else (so anyone could win). This is why Bomberman and Smashmuck have some decent people, but a game like LoL never does.

    I’ve never met a single person in LoL who embraces your ideals. Not one. I’ve heard many of them speaking it, though, and that’s how I ended up trying LoL once. I was told flowery things about it, so I decided to give it a go, despite anxiety issues. I ended up with a healthy distrust of the person who lead me there, as none of the other people in the game lived up to his lofty expectations. And then he sunk down to their level.

    It’s just the nature of extroverts.

    Introverts, on the other hand, prefer just cooperating with a <bsmall group of people. This is why I’ve had some brilliant experiences with friends and acquaintances in things like Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer. Especially when playing on Bronze, just for laughs. Even just doing a PuG on Bronze can result in some genuinely rad people.

    And when us introverted types aren’t doing that, we’re playing single player games. But honestly, I’d take my time in Smashmuck and ME3 over the sheer sociopathy of LoL any day.

    “Look at Guns of Icarus, Blade Symphony, and Nidhogg as great examples! (although they are smaller games compared to DOTA and LoL)”

    Had some bad experiences with Guns of Icarus. Can’t speak of the other two, though. Though I imagine this is a case of you seeing things as being more flowery than more realistic depictions. To put it politely.


    Couldn’t agree more.

    #8 7 months ago
  9. Gheritt White

    @TheWulf Perhaps you could be a little moreintroverted and, y’know, stop posting novels?

    #9 7 months ago
  10. ManuOtaku

    @Gheritt White well that was a nice and very clever way of saying a nasty thing in a funny way. I dont agree but cannot make an argument against it.

    #10 7 months ago
  11. Tormenter



    #11 7 months ago

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