The acclaimed YouTuber Dunkey has a special place in the League of Legends universe for consistently producing some of the best, and definitely the funniest, material in the game’s massive community. But he might stop making League videos, because Riot banned him from the game for “toxic behavior.”
Dunkey first made his ban public on September 3rd, when he tweeted a screencap of a message he received from Riot Games informing him that his account had been “suspended for 14 days” because of “toxic behavior” he’d allegedly exhibited in his recent matches:
It was easy to miss his tweet, however, since he doesn’t really maintain that active a Twitter account. News of Dunkey’s ban only truly started to gain traction in the League of Legends community when someone caught wind of it and posted his messages on the game’s massive subreddit yesterday.
What Dunkey did, exactly, to earn a ban—even a temporary one—remains an open question. Riot has a bad for not giving League of Legends players satisfactory information about their supposed “toxic behavior” when penalizing them, but Dunkey didn’t go into detail about his recent behavior either. All he’s had to say since the initial ban is that Riot wouldn’t “unban” him—a decision that lead him to suggest he’s going to stop making League videos, maybe for good:
It’s impossible to tell whether or not Dunkey’s being serious when he says he’s done making League videos. Repeated attempts to reach him for comment on this story were unsuccessful.
Regardless of where Dunkey goes from here, his case is an interesting one for the League of Legends community, and for game-centric YouTubers more generally. A big part of Dunkey’s appeal in his League videos is that he rambles (often nonsensically) and plays the game in deliberately jokey ways—often to set up funny situations for his videos. In his latest video specifically focused on League ranked play, for instance, you can see him messing with other players in the team chat—teasing them for dying, saying “fuck you” to a teammate, and so forth. He also ignores the advice of his teammates on several occasions, mostly so that he can make very risky, but also very theatrical, plays:
Another one of his recent videos, “10 minute AFK strategy,” shows him and his four teammates staying at the back of their base for the first ten minutes of the match before going in to actually, ya know, fight the enemies and stuff:
Going AFK for whatever reason is definitely the sort of thing that Riot penalizes League of Legends players for.
I could easily see teammates who aren’t in on the joke (or just don’t appreciate it) reporting Dunkey simply for acting like Dunkey.
While Dunkey’s behavior makes sense in the heavily edited, narrated context of his YouTube videos, the random League of Legends players who he gets grouped with in games might not have any patience for his shenanigans—nor should they, necessarily. Things intended as jokes could easily come across as toxic behavior to someone who doesn’t understand what Dunkey is doing. They might not even know who he is. His ban is a reminder that League of Legends content creators, even if they’re bonafide internet celebrities, aren’t exempt from the same rules everyone else has to play under in League.
I hope Dunkey doesn’t actually stop making videos once he’s allowed to return to League of Legends, however, because his work is absolutely fantastic. Just watch this video he made for URF mode and try telling me otherwise:
Lead image via Surrender at 20