An investigation by the League of Legends LCS competition committee has ended with punishment for several pro players and a coach from teams participating in the LCS.
The players and coach punished were involved in “Elo-boosting”, the act of playing on another person’s account for purposes of inflating that person’s Elo ranking. Typically those who are involved in Elo-boosting in League of Legends charge money for the service.
The players and coach involved from the NA region are Brandon “Dontmashme” Phan of Good Game University, Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black of Counter Logic Gaming, Samuel “Chuuper” Chu of compLexity, William “Meteos” Hartman of compLexity, Chenglong “NyJacky” Wang of Curse, Kennen “Rhux” Santos of Curse, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero of Vulcun, and Keith “Phranq” Hunter coach of compLexity.
Players from the EU LCS region were punished as well. Those included are Viktor “Cowtard” Stymne of Copenhagen Wolves, Jon “Jimbz“ Mangas Cayetano of Ozone GIANTS, Dan “NeeGodBro” Van Vo of Copenhagen Wolves, Rim-Ramon “Nono” Amanieu of Against All Authority, Jérémy “ViRtU4l “ Petit of Against All Authority, and Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim of Fnatic.
The investigation showed that violations occurred as early as the middle of League of Legends Season Two, and some individuals have continued their Elo-boosting activities until recently.
The punishment for those involved include a 14-day suspension of their League of Legends accounts which is effective immediately, and all of their Season Two rewards have been revoked, including any rating, banners, skins, or badges acquired during Season Two.
In terms of LCS competition penalties, the pro players and coach named above are hereby given a final warning with regard to Elo-boosting. Any further infractions will result in a permanent account ban and corresponding penalties, as deemed appropriate by LCS.
Riot defined Elo-boosting in the announcement of this action, including why it is bad for the community.
What is Elo-boosting?
“Elo-boosting” is the repetitive and intentional act of an individual playing on someone else’s account (a “client”) for the purpose of artificially improving the client’s Elo rating. There is no minimum number of games required to be played, nor a minimum amount of Elo gain necessary to qualify as Elo-boosting. An attempt to boost Elo need not be successful in order to qualify as a rule violation.
The following also constitutes Elo-boosting:
- Playing on a less-skilled player’s account while the less-skilled player accompanies you in duo-queue games.
The following does not constitute Elo-boosting:
- Permanently transferring a high-Elo account to a less-skilled player. This is illegal, but it’s in the nature of account-sharing and/or account-selling, not account-boosting.
Elo-boosting damages the interests of players of all skill levels because it cheats the internal matchmaking system of League of Legends. Boosting leads to less-skilled players confronting a far superior opponent (the booster) during the boost and also leads to less-skilled clients being placed onto higher-skilled teams after the boost has been completed.
The investigation identified seven NA pro players and a team manager who played repeatedly on the accounts of their clients and boosted their Elo ratings. The most severe cases involved players boosting hundreds of games for a client; one player boosted a client a total of nearly 900 points.
There is no way to know whether an Elo-booster performed a boost for money or other consideration, but all boosts are viewed as wrong.