Ask a question about League or Riot, and we’ll try to answer it. Answers go live every other Thursday at 1:30 pm (PT)
Xian “XiaoWeiXiao” Yu Elo boosted one account, was in talks to boost further accounts, and was also negotiating the sale of an unlocked account granted to LCS pros. As a result of these actions, he is ineligible for competitive play in any Riot-affiliated League of Legends competition until February 2016.
On July 21, LCS officials were made aware of evidence suggesting that Xian “XiaoWeiXiao” Yu was engaged in Elo boosting. Further investigation also suggested that XiaoWeiXiao had been in talks to sell an account with all champion skins unlocked to the same party who paid him to Elo boost. XiaoWeiXiao came forward shortly after allegations were made public and admitted to LCS officials that he had Elo boosted one account even after allegedly being discouraged from doing so by his Elo boosting associate. After further inquiry, he denied boosting any other accounts or negotiating to sell an account.
Over the next several days, LCS officials discovered evidence that XWX had been attempting to sell an unlocked account in addition to Elo boost. After a second interview with XiaoWeiXiao where he was presented with the evidence, he admitted that he had been attempting to sell an account to the same party who paid him to Elo boost. LCS-unlocked accounts have all in-game content unlocked and are given to LCS players as a privilege for participating in the LCS.
Sharing accounts and engaging in Elo boosting not only violates the Terms of Service, but has many negative effects on the community. Elo boosting produces unbalanced games, devalues the commitment many players make to earn their rankings, and endangers account security.
There are a number of factors that we consider whenever we’re assessing a penalty for any violation of LCS rules. We also look for whether players are aware of the severity of the violation – we have repeatedly stressed to players that Elo boosting is impermissible and harms other players. We also look for precedent, which in this case includes recent rulings issued in other leagues which have levied suspensions ranging from six months to a year for Elo boosting. Lastly, we took into account the fact that XiaoWeiXiao had boosted only one account and admitted misconduct to LCS officials, though he did make several misrepresentations to LCS officials such as denying that he was aware he was working with an Elo booster.
We have multiple examples of Elo boosting punishments globally and this is something we’ve taken a firm stance on as a league. Pros, including XiaoWeiXiao, are aware that Elo boosting is a violation of league rules and he went ahead despite that knowledge. As a result of his Elo boosting, XiaoWeiXiao will be banned from participating in any Riot-affiliated League of Legends competition for six months, retroactive to July 21, 2015, when he first admitted misconduct.
ATTEMPTED SALE OF LCS-UNLOCKED ACCOUNT
Account selling is a violation of the Terms of Service. The attempted sale of an LCS unlocked account is a particularly acute breach of trust since these accounts are offered as a special privilege to LCS pros to honor their achievement of competing in the highest level of competition in their region.
In weighing what an appropriate penalty would be in this case, we took into account that while XiaoWeiXiao was negotiating the sale of the account to his Elo boosting associate he ultimately did not sell the account in question.
As a result of attempted account selling of an LCS-unlocked account to a known Elo booster, XiaoWeiXiao will be banned from participating in any Riot-affiliated League of Legends competition for an additional month.
10.2.8 Player Behavior Investigation
XiaoWeiXiao is ineligible for all Riot-affiliated League of Legends competition until February 21, 2016.
What about Alex Gu and Team Impulse management? Is there any reason to believe they were involved?
XiaoWeiXiao made use of Alex Gu’s PayPal account to collect payment for Elo boosting, which raised questions about whether Alex or TIP management was involved in the alleged Elo boosting. After speaking with Alex and XiaoWeiXiao, both denied any involvement or knowledge of TiP management in XiaoWeiXiao’s Elo boosting or attempted account selling. Both maintained that when XiaoWeiXiao first began streaming in the United States he found that he could not set up a PayPal account without a Social Security Number, so he opted to use Alex’s instead in order to collect stream donations. Other members of Team Impulse corroborated that Alex never discussed or encouraged Elo boosting with team members. Alex maintains that neither he nor any other TiP players used the PayPal account; XiaoWeiXiao was the primary user of the account. XiaoWeiXiao maintained that he acted alone, without the participation of TIP management or his teammates.
Our investigation ultimately uncovered no evidence to indicate that Alex Gu was knowingly involved with XiaoWeiXiao’s Elo boosting or attempted account selling.
Was Rush involved in the Elo boosting?
While Elo boosting, XiaoWeiXiao duo queued many of his games with his teammate Rush to help boost the account more quickly. When asked, both players denied that Rush knew that XiaoWeiXiao was Elo boosting. Based on our conversations with XiaoWeiXiao, Rush, and several other sources we believe that Rush did not realize that XiaoWeiXiao was Elo boosting. As a result, we are not penalizing Rush in connection with this case.
Why does XiaoWeiXiao’s penalty for Elo boosting differ from other recent Elo boosting cases, like HKES Raison?
XiaoWeiXiao has only been found to have Elo boosted one account. Raison’s case differed because he was found have boosted a much greater number of accounts and was a much more severe case of Elo boosting.