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Pro Players Suspended for Elo Boosting and GGU Manager’s Alleged Cheating

March 19th, 2013 Leave a comment

League Championship series

 

 

The following LCS suspensions were announced by bitingpig for NA and EU players:

 

Suspensions

 

North American Pro Players
European Pro Players

 

Ziggs_MegaInfernoBombRegion: North America
Date: March 19, 2013
Subject: Elo-Boosting
Players/Coach:

 

  • Brandon “Dontmashme” Phan
  • Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black
  • Samuel “Chuuper” Chu
  • William “Meteos” Hartman
  • ChengLong “NyJacky” Wang
  • Keith “Phranq” Hunter
  • Kennen “Rhux” Santos
  • Jake “Xmithie” Puchero

 

 

Region: Europe
Date: March 19, 2013
Subject: Elo-Boosting
Players:

  • Viktor “Cowtard” Stymne
  • Jon “Jimbz“ Mangas Cayetano
  • Dan “NeeGodBro” Van Vo
  • Rim-Ramon “Nono” Amanieu
  • Jérémy “ViRtU4l “ Petit
  • Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim

 

 

Facts:
An investigation has determined that seven LCS NA players as well as six LCS EU players (and one NA coach) have been engaging in Elo-boosting. These violations occurred as early as the middle of Season Two and some have continued until recently.

Relevant Rules:
The Summoner’s Code establishes the standards of conduct for all League of Legends players and establishes the importance of exercising good sportsmanship and upholding principles of good behavior.

The League of Legends Terms of Use prohibits players from sharing, transferring, selling or trading user accounts and/or login credentials.

Definition of 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.

Analysis:
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) and also leads to less-skilled clients being placed onto higher-skilled teams after the boost has been completed.

The NA investigation identified seven 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.

The EU investigation identified six pro players who played repeatedly on the accounts of their clients and boosted their Elo ratings. The most severe cases involved players boosting more than 100 games for individual clients. Two different EU pros each lifted the Elo ratings of an individual client more than 800 points each.

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.

The individuals who are subject to this ruling are:

Penalties:
With respect to the pro players/coach named above and all of their clients, the Player Support / Player Behavior division has:

1. Issued 14-day suspensions of their accounts, effective immediately;
2. Revoked all Season Two rewards (see http://na.leagueoflegends.com/news/season-2-rewards-and-ratings-changes).

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.

 

Is Elo – Boosting bad practice?

 

Typically any method of progressing in a system by abusing some part of it is considered a violation and Riot has every right to pursue such players. Naturally, it allows players of a lesser skill level to reach a higher rating by paying for it, which some might view as a Pay-to-Win mechanic. However, being a MOBA game, League of Legends can hardly be considered such.

In games like Diablo III, for example, there is a clear line of progression and it’s possible that a person is boosted beyond his current skill level and stays there, due to how gear in that game works specifically. LoL, however, is pretty much safe in that regard. Since a boosted player gains no gameplay advantages by being placed in a rating he did not deserve, matchmaking will most likely punish him and return him to a division more fitting. In all strategy games skill is the primary factor; playing beyond your self- achieved rating is almost always temporary.

Elo-boosting is both a punishable offence and a somewhat understandable practice. Players who have achieved certain proficiency in the game will likely seek to turn this fact to profit and there will always be buyers for such favors. At the same time however, it devalues a system designed to put players in similar-skill environments. It’s only logical that the developing company won’t permit such exploits.

 

Hexo caught DDoS-ing

 

The manager of Good Game University, Hexo, was supposedly causing FXOpen e-Sports’s AD Carry ROBERTxLEE to be disconnected from his client, due to a DoS attack.

 

Ziggs_MegaInfernoBombDate: March 19, 2013
Subject: Denial of Service Attacks
GM: Sam “Hexo” Bouchard

 

 

Facts:
In light of recent evidence regarding denial of service (DoS) attacks on players on the North American server, we investigated allegations that Good Game University (GGU) General Manager Sam “Hexo” Bouchard has engaged in this prohibited behavior.

An example:

  • In a game last month, Hexo posted a message in all-chat implying that he was exploiting software to determine the IP address of a particular opponent, Robert “RobertXLee” Lee.
  • Fourteen seconds later, a teammate of Hexo responded with the chat message, “Hit it.”
  • A few seconds later, RobertXLee suffered a DoS attack which disconnected him from the game.
  • After repeatedly attempting to reconnect to the game, RobertXLee eventually was able to rejoin the game in progress, where he was prejudiced by a noticeable disadvantage in creep score and experience.
  • RobertXLee streamed the game live.
    • A video excerpt of the incident can be seen here; a longer excerpt can be seen here (at 9:07:28).
    • Screenshots are below.

For context on Hexo’s usual in-game behavior, his harassment rating is currently the worst of all LCS North American managers and players (including both starters and reserve players). No other North American pro player or manager has a higher harassment score.

Definition of “DoS Attack”:
A DoS attack (or a distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack, which is a particular type of DoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer unavailable to its intended user. The tactics vary, but generally consist of the interruption of services of a host connected to the internet.

In general terms, DoS attacks are implemented by either forcing a targeted computer to reset, consuming its resources so that it can no longer provide its intended service, or obstructing the communication media between the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate adequately.

Relevant Rules:
The Summoner’s Code establishes the standards of behavior for all League of Legends players.

The League of Legends Terms of Use prohibits players from harassing, threatening or hacking/interfering with other players in the game.

Analysis:
There is very strong circumstantial evidence that Hexo has engaged in DoS activity against one or more LoL players. We will continue to monitor the situation and investigate allegations into this behavior, using all available internal and external data.

Any DoS activity represents a blatant and willful disregard of the letter and spirit of the Summoner’s Code and the League of Legends Terms of Use. Intentionally disconnecting a competitor from a game is the very definition of unsportsmanlike behavior and unfair play.

As an LCS team General Manager, Hexo has a responsibility to lead by example; the creation of even the appearance of being a DoS attacker is grossly inappropriate.

Ruling:
Hexo has violated the Summoner’s Code and the League of Legends Terms of Use by implicitly threatening to launch a DoS attack on another LoL player and may be guilty of the much more serious infraction of engaging in DoS attacks.

Penalties:
Hexo is hereby given a first and final warning regarding the issuance of threats of DoS attacks or the actual launching of DoS attacks. Any future such actions, or any confirmed past or future DoS attacks will result in a permanent account ban and corresponding competition penalties, as deemed appropriate by LCS.


Regarding DOS


As you understood from bitingpig‘s post, Hexo was caught using DoS to disconnect ROBERTxLEE, AD carry for FXOpen e-Sports. Such an action can only be punished and rightfully so. It’s worthy of mention, however, that the information surrounding this case is rather scarce. Having to rely on in-game chat as your main evidence seems like insufficient proof. Regardless, Hexo has been warned with a permanent ban should he attempt such a stunt again.

So what is a DoS (Denial of Service)? Typically this is a direct network attack from one IP to another and is aimed at halting the receiver’s access to the Internet, for all manner of reasons. Normally targets of DoS attacks are busy websites which prove more vulnerable. However it’s effective against hosts who have not defended their system from such intrusions. In Hexo’s alleged case it’s most likely a series of sent network packets that have led to ROBERTxLEE’s client to cease functioning.

 

What’s your opinion on Elo – boosting and DDOSing?


  • Alex

    @S32
    I don’t think you read that post carefuly. Just to point out the part u need: “IF they find enough evidence that he has already done what he is accused for, he will get perma banned”.

  • DumbFK

    @devin
    then code a program in c++ for me

  • S32

    So Hexo only gets a warning after DoS’n another player; something which is not only against the rules in League of Legends, but also just down right illegal. Whereas regular run of the mill people get banned for saying ‘gg scrubs’. Cater to the pro’s much? The whole new ELO system is already catering to the pro players cause it’s absolute garbage for those in lower tiers. And now not only do these pro’s exploit it for their friends, creating an even more negative experience for those of lower tier, but they get warned and a small temp ban. Right, Riot can’t ban them all like they would had to regular players because they are paying them to promote their game to the world.

  • Vilecat

    I don’t see why “smurfs” are always considered bad by default. It’s not like you intentionally stay at a level to roflstomp other players, you’ll eventually level to 30 and now Queue dodging to lower your ELO isn’t worth it. If anything, it may just be boredom from seeing the same people all the time, or being able to have fun again instead of always having to be in “srs bzns” mode.

    It’s a much bigger problem ending up with trolls that throw games on purpose for the sake of dropping in the ladder. Good thing it doesn’t happen very often (from what I’ve experienced and seen).

  • TJ

    I think maybe I misunderstand the term ELO boosting. All of Aphro and Xmithie’s accounts they played on stream were smurfs, in fact I saw Aphro create a few of them on his stream. ELO boosting=diamond on 45 accounts.

  • devin

    @Starfox
    u dont have to be smart to have someone sett things up on a computer for you…lol then all its takes is opening a program and hitting a button anyone could do that all you need is a smart friend rofl i.e anyone pretty good at programming

  • devin

    @AwwHowCute
    um just ti be clear its stated in the rules of league that ur not supposed to make smurfs that being said i do have but if there acconts are loggin in from multiple places across the country they its clearly not the person that supposeed to be playing

  • Failtasia

    “Elo-Boosting” is an inherit problem to all games there is no good way to fix it and on the defense of all players involved here the people they boost in ELO should just end up at the same ELO they were boosted from assuming the current elo system works and they truely belong there. This should not be a breach of contract for people playing this it happens in a lot of other games (WoW Arena and other MOBA games most notably) and nobody gets ban in those for these reasons they should stop worrying about factors outside the computers they cant control. To be blatant PEOPLE ARE GONNA BE PEOPLE DEAL WITH IT

  • Raikaria

    @folloawda
    Not when it’s stable with two different KIP addresses, then suddenly someone on the other side of US is logged into by Aphromoo’s IP. Multiple times. Multiple different accounts on the other side of the continent.

    And these accounts jump in ELO.

    And then the ‘normal’ IP comes back. And the sudden spike in skill vanishes.

  • Raikaria

    Mike :
    Low-tier teams gon’ low-tier

    CLG NA

    Fanatic

    Curse.

    OK.

  • Rayd

    @Wreckognized
    you can’t win 100+ games in 2 days smartass

  • Starfox

    In the words of everyone on Reddit, Hexo can’t even make a schedule, and people think he’s DDoS-ing? I think someone watching a Twitch stream (or spectating with ALL Chat visible) who actually knows what they’re took doing the opportunity to let the blame fall on someone else. I literally think Hexo isn’t smart enough to do that.

  • Mike

    Low-tier teams gon’ low-tier

  • Doug

    “The League of Legends Terms of Use prohibits players from sharing [or] transferring … user accounts”

    That’s pretty much absurd and if it is ever used as a justification for suspending someone who makes their living playing this game then Riot deserves to have their scene die. The need for shared accounts is more obvious in LoL than most other games played at a professional level because of how open the player information and statistics are. Account sharing happens widely in the professional scenes of other games and there’s no good reason why it shouldn’t. If Riot isn’t willing to ban smurfs entirely and force everyone to confirm their identity then they should leave it alone.

  • folloawda

    @thor padawan
    Dude, comparing the IP to the database won’t prove anything. 2 people could be playing on the same computer….

  • Shankzalot

    How do they even prove ELO boosting?

  • Rulemaker

    Hexo and nintendodudeX should bouth be just get a final warning.
    They obviously working together on it and yes Hexo was pulling the plugg, but nintendodudeX was clearly with him on that…

    i would not even reconsidder them in the game back if it was up to me. cheater should be punish, just let them start from scrats

  • Mottiex

    You all missed that this happened in S2, not S3 (ELO boosting).

  • thor padawan

    @Lothlørien
    Just cheking the ip and compare it for the database dude !

  • Cyndrial

    @Noobo
    You realize Kyle Ftw was saying that they should ban the manager whether or not he was kidding right? I mean, it was poorly worded, but learn to read please.

  • Lothlørien

    So whats the proof that they elo boosted huh? Oh right there isn’t any.

  • Flame

    If you seriously think that typing something like that into all chat is going to give the IP address of someone then you’re retarded.

    Even if he did get the email address, a DoS attack would fill the bandwidth for his whole internet service, meaning his stream would have crashed aswell.

    Please people, use some common sense. This is a dude with bad internet having a cry at someone pulling the piss.

  • Noobo

    @Kyle Ftw
    It doesnt matter if it was “serious” or “for fun”. If the police caught someone stealing something would they ask the thief if he was doing it “serious” or “for fun?” I don’t get some stpd ppl in this community honestly

  • thor padawan

    Is not bad have smurf account the bad thing is give it to someone, sell it, or use others players account to rise the elo … that’s why Ranked are full of trolls !

  • VengeanceZ

    @DannyBoy
    you got it wrong my friend :)
    a pro player on a smurf technically does boos the elo of the team he gets in, but that’s not the elo boosting we’re talking about here.
    In the abovementioned case we are talking about the situation where the pro-player logs on the account of a low ranked player and gets him trough the divisions up until certain elo.
    So for example you’re say silver5 and you can’t climb up – you pay X amount of money to say mashme to log on your account and play on it until it reaches plat, then you get back on your account and voila you’re platinum without actually being on that skilllevel

  • Wreckognized

    @OMachine
    Jacky played on his girlfriend’s account for like 2 days. Better make him quit league forever. Logic.

  • DannyBoy

    So basically what i get from the definition of ELO Boosting given, any pro player with a smurf technically boosts everyone on the team he/she is on because they intentionally que with a low elo for Que times and for fun. Leading to the general rise in low-elo players’ rating…. seems legit, ban everyone with smurf ggwp

  • Chris

    GGU should just be banned from tournament play as a whole. If their manager does something as fucken stupid as that then who is to say the team doesnt do the same to gain elo to get to the rating they are. Wonder how long it’ll take nintendude to stream

  • christian zuelke

    So when aphroo and Jacky duo q with viewers on smerfs is that considerd elo boosting?

  • Sanger Zonvolt

    So how the Riot staff do to keep track of the dos attacker, it’s not like he’s gonna use the lol chat to mean anything related to that again, and keep doing that stuff, so he get’s free elo over and over. I agree with the perma ban to his account and it’s a must to do thing to make some justice. Guess all the infractors of elo boosting gonna do that too don’t using the chat of lol to elo boost GG, wich is so easy to do…

  • AwwHowCute

    SO MUCH FREAKING BS!!!!!!! I KNOW SOME OF THESE GUYS! STUPID RIOT DON’T KNOW WHAT A FREAKING SMURF IS!!!!!!!! AND THERE ISN’T ANYTHING REALLY WRONG WITH IT IF THEY WERE DOING IT!!! OMW SOME PEOPLE TODAY ARE SO STUPID!

  • CasualFriday

    So did Hexo’s account get suspended or anything?

  • Ryan

    @Greg Allen
    And this is exactly why you were banned. You’re supposed to be a sportsman, not a child. You are seriously acting like an 11-year-old.

  • Jeremy S

    @Slycandicem
    I AGREE, I’m in gold % and honestly more trolls there than in silver which makes no sense because it should be the higher you get the less trolls and etc, but not in this case.I think only certain leagues should have it where it stops going down, Maybe silver 5, then diamond 5. Then it would solve the problems a little more.

  • Slycandicem

    S3 is really set for ELO boosting…maintaining level once it is reached seems open to abuse. Think of how many honest people are going to suffer because their level is being invaded by people getting ELO boosted and then when they play their own account they will suck and people will hate them because they suck and they are losing more games than they should.

    I hate playing with trolls and feeders and that is what these elo boosted players will most likely be…they should be punished as much as the people that did the boosting.

  • Mopey

    i dont see any TSM Snapdragon in there…. umad TSM haters?

  • Jeremy S

    Every penalty seems to be fine but GGU’s manager, honestly if a non-professional player did this and got caught, it would have been an instant perma ban. But my guess is since he is an LCS player, that he gets special treatment in a way. Maybe other people will do ddos because they may think they can get away with it and get a warning. Riot should have perma banned him to show that they mean business, despite who you are. And I have no grudge against GGU and any players in LCS, They are all good and I’m just throwing in my opinion ;).

  • Synth

    Basically Kyle i agree lol

  • Synth

    @kyle,

    Thats stupid shit man. A manager being accused of dosing is big imo. A manager should if anything reflect higher then his/her team. Not showing a good example at all.

  • Greg Allen

    I love how I get 2 week bans for cussing at a teamate and being “toxic”, but these queer pros get the same or less punishment for ELO boosting. Fuck off Riot. Your game can’t handle curse words with your bullshit Tribunal system and favoritism.

  • OMachine

    So damn disappointing… I would kick those guys out of LCS for good.

  • DuckBUTTER

    I think you guys (riot) set up season 3 as just being begged to be elo boosted with not being able to drop below gold plat diamond ect once you reach it. I think you guys should have thought that out better before changing the elo ratings. I think it is wrong but I dont think it is right for them to be banned from playing, I think you guys get way to bann happy now days.

  • Kyle Ftw

    elo boosting eh they deserved it but to be honest they should ban ggu’s manager for even being apart of ddosing another player whether it was for serious or for fun.