League of Legends Nunu

There are plenty of things that will get you banned in an online game: toxic language, going afk for extended periods of time, even playing poorly enough to impact your teammates. But playing your character in a different way, even when it works?

That’s what happened to “Take The Draw,” a League of Legends player who likes to play Nunu in a support role, as opposed to his usual counter-jungler role. Without getting too much into how LoL roles work, suffice it to say it would be like playing a medic as an attack character or a tank as a sneaky flanker.

The thing is … it worked, at least more often than it failed. Take The Draw has a 53% win rate on Nunu, but that also comes with him being reported for poor play 50% of the time, including when his team won. That was enough to land him a 14-day ban from the game, as he made it “frustrating and ‘unfun'” for his teammates.

But maybe this isn’t totally a case of Riot clamping down on creativity. According to the comments on the Kotaku article reporting this incident, Take The Draw would generally announce his intentions at the start of the match and then offer little to nothing in terms of communication throughout the rest of the match. This left his teammates — who were expecting a certain gameplay style — to fend for themselves. Even if it worked 53% of the time, that could still leave a sour taste in their mouths, enough to report him. According to Player Support Lead WookieeCookie:

But wait! Communication doesn’t stop after you press the Enter button on your keyboard; and that’s where we saw a problem in this particular case. All of us need to be aware of the difference of communicating “with” someone vs. communicating “at” someone. Telling your team what you’re going to do and then ignoring them isn’t really working with them it’s holding them hostage. Telling your team what you want to do and actually working towards a common plan is a central part to playing any team based game.

After some back-and-forth on Reddit, Riot eventually ended Take The Draw’s 14-day ban prematurely. But it does lead to an interesting dilemma: Should players be punished for poor — though non-toxic — communication even if they’ve got a winning though non-traditional strategy? Personally, I don’t think so, but I can see how leaving your teammates high and dry can be frustrating. It’s probably not a cut-and-dry situation, and it’s something WookieeCookie said the LoL team itself is debating.

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

28 Readers Commented

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  1. Tech on March 11, 2017

    Things like this are the reason why I’m glad I stopped playing the game. It’s such a toxic atmosphere. I literally go into every game expecting at least one person to start flaming or complaining about something. It could be champ pick, the way I’m playing the champ, why didn’t I pick [meta pick] instead? It’s just not fun anymore after a while you’re just going through the motions like it’s a job.

  2. lolcatz on March 10, 2017

    Wait.. riot ban players that are bad at the game? rofl what an awful company.

  3. Best day of my life Uninstall that toxic game and start feeling better 😉 The potencial of the game is great but the playbase sucks nuts Fills of mexicain lagger and rage quitter Solo Game are the best You don’t need to HOPE NOT HAVING 3-4 autims kid on ur team who willing playing Lee sin Master yi

  4. zxdual on March 5, 2017

    Yea I don’t like this :/ as long as it was a casual game why does it matter if someone wants to play differently I don’t want to be some uber try hard all the time trying to win and I sometimes don’t like to chat with my teammates I don’t feel like this person should be banned for wanting to have fun but hey people always hate the filthy casual

    • Teka on March 5, 2017

      I understand how you feel, in a normal game I would like people to be banned because you want just to have fun, but in ranked you should. And btw “just because you want to have fun”, is just like in real life, you can’t everything what you want because you might take somebody else fun.

      • zxdual on March 6, 2017

        Yea I know that but what happened to just having fun in games and relaxing why does everything have to be so damn serious

  5. GameMasterCYP on March 5, 2017

    mmobomb.com , Kotaku is not a reliable source, just wanted to let you know.

  6. Drago on March 4, 2017

    Use to love this game but it’s pure TOXIC..

  7. Whalewolf on March 4, 2017

    The report system has been broken for a long time. If your team decides youre the reason they lost they will simply report you for whatever and once you have enough reports youre out.

    • Koai on March 4, 2017

      That is one thing I also forgot to mention in my post from yesterday. I hate when the team blames you for the lost even when it’s not your fault and if the report system is broke then your account is banned so yeah try to find reliable teammates or friends maybe and not people who rage and blames somebody everytime they lose a game.

      • furry fury on March 4, 2017

        You’re playing with random players and if they decided they ALL blame you it’s because you’ve done something that is unneccesarry or even makes things more harder ofcourse they will report you.

      • Koai on March 5, 2017

        But that’s the thing furry fury. I’ve played in matches and fights on games like overwatch or pvp team fights and ect and I didn’t do anything wrong and the team still blamed me. I just do the usual stuff try to help form a plan so we can beat the other team but every team match I seen to end up in people 90% of the time end up ignoring me which ends up in our team losing and sometimes I get blammed for using a weak class or a weak skillset even though I haven’t. If you met me ingame you would know I’m one of the more reliable team mates then the people who ignore their team mates and don’t change their skill set if they are weak or go on the defense if their team recommands it. I take advice from my team mates if they suggest it and I only do it if I think it will be a good idea. They might not like it when I don’t listen to them and report me anyway but like I said 90% of the time I’ve been with unreliable team mates.

      • Koai on March 5, 2017

        Also I communicate very well with my team mates but like I’ve said over and over I’ve had a bad history of unreliable team mates who do what you said blame me for no reason and think I do unnecessary things even though I don’t. And half of them don’t even communicate with the team during the matches I’m in so it’s impossible for us to win a lot of matches. And before you say get a new team I heard that before but I been looking also been trying to find a reliable game that has reliable team mates probably league of legends at this point…

  8. Saraski on March 4, 2017

    I was actually banned for this back when braum was released, he was newly released along with the in progress team builder and I had decided to come back to the game after a 3 month break, upon entering normal rather than team builder and my team asking for a top, I decided to go braum top as I didn’t fully know where his capabilities were but heard he had been playing top recently by higher tiers, throughout the game I got abuse and just ignored it all while trying to play, eventually we lost and I was reported for “griefing”, i tried playing the day later and found out I had a 14 day ban, upon messaging support and going through them 3 times, I got the reply that it was my own fault because the team wanted me to play a 2nd jungler, so in riot’s eyes that is griefing intentionally, even when challenging Lyte about it, he said it was justified. quote : ” I reviewed your games and I can see what it was that led to your suspension. I do want to first start off by saying that we support players who want to play outside of the “meta”. Unfortunately your approach looks like it has upsetted several players in several of your games. If you are going to play something that is outside of the norm or outside of what players are comfortable playing with, then you need to be able to communicate that with your team. Let them know what you plan on doing. This helps reduce the chances of your team getting upset with you, and it helps them maybe play around your playstyle. No jungler this game? Ok, maybe I can play a jungler or play a champion that I know won’t need a jungler to camp my lane. You are entering game after game knowing that you have a good chance of upsetting your team. “

    • furry fury on March 4, 2017

      there’s a discription at the top of the champion details not to mention his skills are OBVIOUSLY for support how could you not know that?.

    • furry fury on March 4, 2017

      And you need to adjust for the team that’s why there’s a thing called hero role adjustment.

  9. furry fury on March 4, 2017

    Better off that he was banned than not to be it means he’s not adjusting for his team mates he’s picking heroes that can’t be helped or a role that was given to them to be ignored it doesnt really matter if his winning rate 50% it’s not going to help his future team mates and future opponents will be able to find a way in late games it would be hard because you can’t do your role right. and as we all know things are unbalance in LoL one mistake such as pick a wrong hero to counter your opponent and your advantages goes to 5% only they should do their role properly not because they want to. It’s because they have to if they want to win especially in rank.

    • Trumbles on March 5, 2017

      Even if he had communicated and worked with his teams, and been as excellent of a player as he could, announcing his intentions/plan/whatever makes him stand out, and makes him a target for blame. Randoms will always find the quickest and easiest way to blame other people when they lose.

      I’m not saying that’s what he did, but even if his team did agree and work with him, they might still blame/report him anyway simply because he made himself a target.

      • furry fury on March 5, 2017

        Ofcourse he would be a target you’re not listening or even adjusting it doesnt matter if you have a plan.you have 1 plan or even 2 doesnt matter because it’ll eventually be figured out.

  10. Hellsworth on March 3, 2017

    “You play our game you can’t play your way!”… If you only could ban devs from doing their thing dispite the whole community telling them “NO!!! STOP!!!”

  11. Smallniceguy on March 3, 2017

    Didn’t something like this happen before, with a guy who was playing singed support with smite?

    • riotlul on March 4, 2017

      Riot was always against solo minded strategies, i think the first big case was the Proxy Singed strategy when Revive summoner spell was still in the game, and basically the strategy revolved around killing all enemy minions at the base at the cost of multiple deaths(to the point that killing Singed was worth less than a minion), that allowed the Singed player team mates to easily push while the enemy missed cs and xp, the strategy had 50>% success but if they lost it was most likely thanks to the strategy 1 person imposed on the other 4 without their agreement. Pretty sure the guy who made Proxy Singed popular was also perma banned.

  12. kalatraba on March 3, 2017

    If someone says to me that wants to play in a certain way in picking phase, it is OK with me. But I definitely hate the total lack of communication in some of those games when everybody just picks heroes, and even though you try to communicate and coordinate with them they just pick what they want or troll disregarding the fact that a team has to have synergy. This is especially annoying in ranked games.

    • Koai on March 5, 2017

      Yeah I hate the lack of communication to. I don’t mind if you pick a certain role but if everybody picks the same role then it’s gonna be easy for our team to be defeated which is why I hate playing on teams like that.

  13. kalatraba on March 3, 2017

    This is a primal concern of mine in hero-based games. Most of the time I don’t have any problem picking the role that my other teammates don’t wanna play but in most of those games there are some d-bags players that either troll or don’t want to communicate and you end up having a bad composition of heroes and no synergy between the picked characters. Especially in ranked games. And there isn’t any way of actually “reporting” them just because they don’t utter a word in hero picking. There should be a special report section in such games and an inclination from the reporting dept of the game to look into those incidents/players.

  14. Koai on March 3, 2017

    I can understand this. I’ve played games where I tried to communicate with people and form a plan but they all went off and did their own thing we lost every time and in the games I played same things happened. I might have to try league of legends if people are serious about this.

  15. ZMemme on March 3, 2017

    Riot bans League of Legends *Player. Gotta proofread :v

    • zab on March 4, 2017

      for a minute there i was like, did riot ban there own game? lol

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