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LoL: TheShy’s account permanently banned following new rule

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Weibo Gaming top laner Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok recently had his League of Legends account permanently banned due to developer Riot Games’ new strict server regulations.

TheShy got banned while playing the solo queue mode on a live stream. Despite being known in China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), the world champion was born in South Korea and grew up playing in a Korean solo queue environment.

When the player tried to access the game’s lobby, he suddenly received a notification about the suspension of his account. He attempted to reconnect the game several times but to no avail.

Many pro players use LoL’s solo queue — a mode where players can compete alone to climb the ranked ladder — to practice their skills for real matches. However, per new regulations imposed by Riot, players who reside outside South Korea cannot access Korean LoL servers, including the solo queue environments.

The ban surprised many community members because the player was originally from South Korea. Most people initially expected that the ban would only be imposed on Chinese LoL players who were known to access the Korean solo queue frequently. They usually rent Korean accounts to access the country’s servers.

Riot Games Korea explained that the new regulations were a part of its measures to improve the competitive environment of the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK). The developer started suspending accounts at the beginning of December last year. It also said there would be more rental account bans throughout Q1 of 2023.

Because TheShy resides in China, it was likely that he used a rental account in his live stream instead of a super account given to him by Riot. After the stream, which was cut short by the ban, the player once again streamed himself playing solo queue in a Korean server. This time, he hid his account’s name from viewers.

Many also suspect that other Korean players who compete in China, like JD Gaming bot laner Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, will get their accounts banned soon. However, a new super server was created in China, which provides a competitive environment for pro-LoL players so they will not need to access Korean servers to practice.

LPL will kick off on January 14, while LCK starts on January 18.

Solo queue betting

Riot’s decision to tighten its server regulations is also likely related to widespread solo queue betting problems, not only in LoL but also in other games like VALORANT.

Korean servers are especially known as a “hotbed” for illegal betting practices such as win trading. This includes bettors betting on a streamer’s game and queue-sniping that streamer to win the bet. Due to this practice, EsportsBet.io stopped servicing LoL solo queue betting last year.

Due to LoL’s popularity in South Korea, it is understandable that there are many pro players born there. Because these pros often play in solo queues, many people bet on these household names to achieve certain ranks on the leaderboard.

T1 mid-laner Lee “Faker’ Sang-hyeok had come forward once, saying he was tired of solo queue games because most of them felt like “slot machines.” The player also complained about the presence of “trolls” in the game mode, which ruined the game playing experience.