An interesting thread popped up on the main League of Legends forum yesterday. It would seem the jungler for one of the top US teams has what you may call a bit of a potty mouth on him. He'd been punished by the tribunal system 7 times in the past and was just handed an 8th punish verdict. The recommended punishment by the system given his past history was a permanent account ban. Typically this would mean he'd lose his account (and therefore any purchased champions/skins) but could start over from scratch. If he'd learned to be less caustic to the other people in his games he'd get to keep that account. If he was bad again the new account would eventually get banned. This works for most people, but pro players are a bit of an exception. People will talk about how he needs to be a good representative for the game because he streams to a lot of people and because people look up to him. I can see how that is true, and definitely think that he should be held to a higher standard of behaviour, but to me that's not the biggest difference.
The biggest difference, for me, is that a lot of the games he actually cares about aren't played on his account at all. The big tournaments are all played on special tournament realms where every account has access to every champion/rune/skin. Banning his main account might put him out some cash if he wants to buy his way back quickly so he can keep streaming practice games, but he would undoubtedly get a lot of people watching him leveling up too. Banning it wouldn't seriously impact him, though. If I lost my account it would really suck because everything I have invested in LoL from a time or cash perspective is all on the one account. For him, not so much. Nevermind the fact he had several other max level accounts already! (I guess when you get punished by the tribunal 7 times you have plenty of spare time to start new accounts.) Permanently banning his main account would be annoying for losing the name (unless you can name change to a banned name...) but wouldn't really be a punishment.
Fortunately banning his account wasn't the only thing they did. They went and looked up his other accounts and it turns out (unsurprisingly) they were all misbehaving as well! They were all at or near the perm-ban level themselves, so Riot took them all out at the same time. That certainly helps since he no longer has a level 30 account to play on at all. It won't take that long to level up, and I'm sure someone would lend him one if he needed it...
So they went one step further. Those tournaments which are played on a tournament realm with different accounts? He's suspended from those for a year. Now that's a real punishment. I read that entire thread (1200+ posts and counting) and a lot of people seem to think it's too harsh and is really going to hurt his teammates. I think it's a pretty good spot. A full year might be high but I think any traditional punishment wasn't actually going to hurt him at all. They needed to go after his ability to play on the tournament realms if they were going to get the point across that his behaviour was unacceptable.
Other people complained that it was unfair to hit this guy because other pros act like jerks too. Some argued that people acting like jerks was a good thing and 'censorship' is bad. I'm strongly in favour of chat moderation. I hate the idea that it's ok to act like a compete idiot and I sadly recognize that that's the default option for many people. So I'm thrilled when companies actually start cracking down on it. My hope is actually that they'll wait a little bit and then go after some more pros that haven't shaped up from this warning shot. The other champions in these games are played by actual people and some modicum of respect isn't much to ask. Yelling at people makes them feel bad and play worse and there's no reason those things should be allowed or encouraged.