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Competitive Ruling: Hankil “Road” Yoon

Hankil “Road” Yoon used racially insensitive language to abuse a player during a game on the Korean server.


  • On September 19, Hankil “Road” Yoon used racially insensitive language to abuse a player during a game on the Korean server.
  • Road was found to have been verbally abusive toward his teammates in Ranked play going as far back as late August and as recently as a game on October 5.
  • Road is being issued a 1-game suspension and a $2000 fine for repeated instances of moderate to severe verbal abuse and one instance of racially-insensitive rhetoric.


On October 5, 2016, I May’s Hankil “Road” Yoon verbally abused one of his teammates in a ranked game on the North American (NA) server. After discovering this instance of toxicity, Worlds officials investigated Road’s accounts in various regions for additional instances of verbal toxicity. On his NA account, Road was reported in 5 of his last 60 games. Out of those 5 games, Road was found to be moderately abusive toward a teammate in one game. On his Korean (KR) account, he was reported in 22 out of 168 games between August 23 and September 23. Chat logs revealed multiple instances of moderate toxicity, including cursing at and insulting teammates. Additionally, his account had been issued an automatic 10-game chat restriction for verbal toxicity.

In a particularly severe instance of toxicity, during one game on September 19, he verbally attacked a teammate using racially insensitive language twice.

Professional players are expected to maintain good behavior in and out of game, regardless of the actions of their teammates. Furthermore, racially insensitive language is never acceptable in any environment.


9.2.4 Discrimination and Denigration.

Team Members may not offend the dignity or integrity of a country, private person or group of people through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigrating words or actions on account of race, skin color, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion or any other opinion, financial status, birth or any other status, sexual orientation or any other reason.

9.2.7 Player Behavior Investigation.

[If Riot] determines that a Team Member has violated the Summoner’s Code, the LoL Terms of Service, or other rules of LoL, Worlds  officials may assign penalties at their sole discretion.


Road has violated rules 9.2.4 and 9.2.7 of the Worlds ruleset.


  • Suspended from his team’s next Worlds match.
  • Fined $2000 USD.


How does this differ from Svenskeren’s punishment during Worlds 2014?

There are two primary distinguishing factors between this instance and the circumstances around Svenskeren’s punishment in 2014:

  • Svenskeren used a more offensive, specific term, whereas Road did not use a specific racial slur or as offensive language.
  • Svenskeren had a history of toxicity and formal warnings that was far more extensive than Road’s, and which factored into his punishment in 2014.

Why wasn’t Road punished earlier?

Road’s Korean account was not monitored closely enough to immediately catch the more severe instances of toxic behavior, nor was his toxicity prevalent in enough games over a short period of time to generate significant automated flags that would have notified us earlier. However, because the most severe offenses occurred during the month of September, they are still considered relevant to his eligibility for Worlds, and he is punished accordingly.

Had these transgressions been discovered earlier, the suspension would have still affected Road’s group stage participation. To ensure that this delay in punishment does not happen again, we will be doing additional, recurring, and more thorough sweeps of the accounts of every player competing in Worlds for the remainder of the event, and have already done another sweep for games that happened within the last several weeks involving any Worlds player.

Q: Is this only being investigated because it was raised publicly?

If someone comes to us to report a credible issue, we’re going to investigate it. That said, we don’t solely rely on public scrutiny, and recognize that there are definitely things on our side that we need to do to be more proactive when it comes to scanning for potential issues. For example, we’ll be including more thorough, recurring checks through the remainder of Worlds and going forward for league play and before international tournaments.

Q: Have you been monitoring any other pros or just Road following this issue?

We did a full sweep of all Worlds players’ recent games as part of our investigation, and nobody else was flagged.

Q: Couldn’t you apply a punishment that affects all teams equally? This feels unfair on other teams in the group.

We inherently don’t believe symmetry should be the deciding factor in calculating punishment. It limits the flexibility and accuracy of selecting the right punishment for each offense. As an example of how symmetry as a requirement for punishments could go wrong, only implementing punishments that affect all teams equally would mean that the only valid suspensions for NA LCS would be for 9 Bo3s or 18 Bo3s, and could only be implemented at the start or midpoint of a season…it just doesn’t make sense.

Symmetry either forces us to overpunish or underpunish a player and his teammates; in this case, tripling the length of a punishment which we believe is appropriately a one-game suspension. While it may have a varying impact on the different teams in the group, we determined that a single-game suspension was the right response relative to the seriousness of the offense; extending for the sake of symmetrical impact would have been overly punitive to Road and I May.

Q: Why not ban Road for a game of LPL? Worlds is too important to affect a team that significantly.

At this point, the expectation that toxicity is punishable is firmly established and has been consistently backed up by a publicly available ruleset that gets messaged to all teams. The offense was committed shortly before Worlds; delaying the punishment because of the impact it would have on the team would completely remove any ability to address serious offenses in a timely fashion, and would suggest that teams or players can essentially get away with these offenses until the punishment would be more tolerable for them. Pros should be models of good behavior all year round; Worlds is no excuse to tolerate negative actions.

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