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Breaking: Crowd Control, a Reddit Feature that Forces the Direction of Conversation on r/LeagueOfLegends

 

The constant tug-of-war between users and moderators on r/LeagueOfLegends is a tale as old as time. This has extended to content creators and journalists as well. From refusing to acknowledge that Richard Lewis broke the news of Echo Fox’s problems with racism, and even encouraging journalists to plagiarize his story without reference to his source work, to the removal of Kotaku’s article about the underlying problems of sexism within Riot Games; the evidence is condemning that the Reddit moderators have put a stranglehold on content. As with many articles discussing important topics, this will also be banned from the subreddit, as it discusses the subreddit itself, but the irony is not lost on me.

”The true patriot has nothing to fear from the Songbird”
– Bioshock Infinite

 

Crowd Control

The moderation abuse has now massively become more sinister for moderators to direct discourse and quell unwanted discussion, as there is now a new feature at their disposal, aptly called Crowd Control. This function creates a rule set which automatically collapses comments, regardless of their number of upvotes, on the basis that it’s either a new account, has negative karma in that subreddit holistically, or the user hasn’t subscribed to the subreddit. These rules are adjusted based on a slider, which the moderator can adjust. This feature, as of December 10, 2019, was placed in beta and subreddit moderators could request to be added to the list to try this new feature out on the subreddit they moderate. The gravity of this feature has even greater implications on Reddit as a platform, but for now, let’s just focus on one beast at a time.



While the new Reddit function is disgusting in terms of censorship, it’s also bizarre (but not unexpected) that r/LeagueofLegends moderators would gleefully jump at the chance to use this feature. This is a clear attempt to ostracize certain viewpoints within the community under the guise of preventing brigading—a definition in which Reddit administrators even admit is “nebulous” and inconsistently enforced—while also presenting several problems with the function itself.

The most alarming part of Crowd Control is the function also conveniently added a feature to collapse any single comment they deem unsightly. Not only that, but moderators can even whitelist specific users so that they aren’t throttled by Crowd Control.



The first instance of its use, as far as I could track down, was in a thread titled “There’s some irony that as Fiddlesticks I am horrified of someone invading my jungle”, where user mmestemm’s commented about a mismatch of Fiddlestick’s lore compared to his gameplay, which was collapsed by default, on May 9th.


This seems innocent enough, as it’s not necessarily a touchy subject, and the user does not in fact participate on r/LeagueofLegends to a great extent. However, this effectively doesn’t even get to the bottom of the rabbit hole considering Reddit administrators allow moderators to retroactivate Crowd Control so that previous comments that might have been made while moderators were inactive are collapsed. Additionally, it is also strange that this power has been recently abused given the light of recent events on the subreddit with player and team drama, but conveniently the retroactivity is there to cover their tracks.

This is the first instance in which I had noticed a collapsed comment, with an absurd 1981 points upvoted. At initial glance, one would think there was a minus sign in front of that number. This comment is in the post “Leaked on DL’s Stream: It’s not up to me no one wants to pick up Dardoch”.


As things started to heat up on r/LeagueofLegends, the tipping point comes with Cloud9’s video featuring Montecristo, Thorin, Locodoco and Barry, skyrocketing to the front page, discussing the recent fiasco involving TSM and the discussion about conflict of interest within the team. Further in the thread, there are several collapsed comments with massive upvotes, yet have been essentially hidden due to the Crowd Control setting.

While this news of Crowd Control could seemingly not get any worse, head moderator Hoosakiwi discussed the function, while also denying that it’s under his control, replying to a redditor, “nothing we can do about it. :/”.

Clearly a blatant lie, Hoosakiwi has portrayed the Reddit Crowd Control setting as something that is out of his control and is in fact a part of Reddit’s functionality, yet as I looked into whether this was the case, I found several subreddits that haven’t had this function enabled at all, and what’s worse, that there are several Reddit users which have their comments collapsed yet also meet the criteria to avoid the automatic collapse.

Not pictured is Reddit user ArcDriveFinish, having 94K karma (more than me actually), been in r/LeagueofLegends for over a month (or more), a Redditor for seven years, yet in the “The TSM Holy War” thread, he has the comment:

“It’s not even about PR. Anybody who is not out of touch will realize how stupid the “apology” sounded. And there was a clear lack of communication between Leena and Reginald where both posts contradicts each other. Well, one of them is lying.
The problem is TSM is an echo chamber where anybody who points out problems gets silenced and excommunicated. The subreddit is a blatant example of that.”

This comment was collapsed by default, yet his credentials seem to tick all the boxes to not get collapsed, alluding to the idea that r/LeagueofLegends moderators have picked specific comments to collapse. What makes this story even more confusing is that he has additional comments in that thread which were not collapsed, pointing towards his outstanding comment drawing the ire of r/LeagueofLegends moderators. Along with that, Reddit user Freedom_for_Fiume has also had their comments recently collapsed by default.


The Songbird

This situation is appalling due to the fact that it further perpetuates an echo chamber (which Reddit already is), as users who repeatedly get downvoted for dissenting comments are even more disincentivized to comment against the common community sentiment for fear of being throttled by Crowd Control. Not only does this act as an invisible police force, but those that end up suffering from the Crowd Control setting essentially are part of a prisoner island scenario, in that if you are placed into this “prison”, it’s going to be very difficult to get out of due to your comments being collapsed.

The state of r/LeagueofLegends and quite honestly, Reddit as a platform, is in obvious dire need of help as there are now more restrictions on what is allowed to be said on the subreddits themselves. The suffocation of content and comments is readily apparent and Crowd Control further extends to the silence of free speech and journalism. While I also do not want this topic to be subject to the idea that maybe Reddit moderators are in collusion with Riot or any teams, there is still a motivation from the moderation team, whether prompted by others or by their own volition. But hey, not strange at all that Hoosakiwi (along with the rest of the r/LeagueofLegends moderator team) is also the moderator of r/Valorant, which was personally given to him by Riot before the game’s release, and also moderates r/News and r/ShittyJournalism. Oh, and Valorant Redditors, don’t be surprised when Crowd Control gets enabled on your subreddit as well!

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Izento has been a writer for the LoL scene since Season 7, and has been playing the game since Season 1. Follow him on Twitter at @ggIzento for more League content.

INNO3D Graphics: The Future of Gaming is Ray Traced

INNO3D Graphics: The Future of Gaming is Ray Traced

Gaming is growing more exciting as time goes on; next-gen consoles have seen the possibility of ray-tracing, and are rushing to catch up to PC gaming standards, where the NVIDIA® technology found in INNO3D cards is already powering stunning ray-traced gaming experiences. Here’s why ray-tracing is the future of PC gaming and beyond.

Ray Tracing: The Technology Powering Cutting-Edge Gaming Graphics

Lighting is everything in gaming. Poor lighting can turn a stunning scene into a bland experience you’d expect from the earliest video games. Great lighting enhances a game world, bringing visual fidelity and a level of immersion that pulls you into the experience and makes the world real.

Real-time ray tracing can be found in NVIDIA®’s latest RTX graphics cards; this technology simulates the physical behaviours of lighting, bringing a high level of real-time, cinematic rendering to video games, turning simply another game world into a powerful and visually stunning and immersive experience you won’t quickly forget.

Which Games Currently Support Ray Tracing?

More and more games are supporting ray tracing. It’s transforming their gaming experiences for gamers just like you. You’ll find ray tracing support in the following list of recently released and upcoming major titles, and many more besides:

  • Battlefield 5
  • Call of Duty: modern Warfare
  • Control
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dying Light 2
  • Minecraft
  • Metro Exodus
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
  • Watchdogs Legion
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood

Check out NVIDIA®’s ray-tracing trailer to see incredible examples of how ray tracing has changed games already:

 

 

INNO3D Graphics Cards: Ray Tracing Ready

When you browse INNO3D’s latest graphics products, you’ll find a range of RTX-based products that can power immersive gaming experiences all the way up to games that are coming in 2020, ready for ray-tracing.

Head to Overclockers UK to browse the full range of INNO3D products now, and experience ray tracing excellence for yourself. You’ll find a range of products to suit your needs and budget.

Overclockers UK: Shop INNO3D products

INNO3D: Website

cvMax suspension postponed by Riot Korea

 

According to a report earlier today conducted through ESPN, Kim “cvMax” Dae-Ho’s suspension has been postponed largely due to an online petition addressed to the office of Moon Jae-in, South Korean president, on top of other avenues of public outcry.

Coach cvMax had been accused of physical and verbal abuse towards Griffin players, which is now being reinvestigated by a third-party organization.

The management of Still8, the company that owns Griffin, has been forced to sell individual stocks in the company before LCK’s summer promotion tournament. Earlier in the week, Still 8 mentioned that all of Griffin’s players had the option to become free agents, with three of the team’s players having parted ways with the team.

Source / Full Story – ESPN


Michale ‘Drexxin’ Lalor is the Editor-in-Chief at Esports Heaven. Stay in touch on Twitter at @ESHDrexxin.

Immortals finalizes majority of their roster

 

In the latest of Jacob Wolf’s “Wolf Bombs” for ESPN, it’s been reported that deals are being finalized for the Immortals roster for LCS Spring 2020.  This season will be the re-debut of Immortals, who exited the league in November of 2017 after an appearance in the Season 7 World Championship.

Immortals is being led by new upper management led by former Arizona Coyotes executive Ari Segal, as reported in the ESPN post.  Immortals has received both praise and scrutiny for their famously high player salaries, allegedly raising the floor and expectation across the board.

The roster currently sits at 4/5 slots filled. The current fielded roster is as follows, with mid currently vacant:

Paul ‘soaz’ Boyer – Top
Jake ‘Xmithie’ Puchero – Jungle
Johnny ‘Altec’ Ru – Bottom
Nickolas ‘Hakuho’ Surgent – Support

Source – ESPN


Michale ‘Drexxin’ Lalor is the Editor-in-Chief at Esports Heaven.  Get in touch on Twitter at @ESHDrexxin.

Photo courtesy of Xmithie’s Facebook.

Bang to Evil Geniuses for LCS Season 10

 

According to reports by ESPN’s Jacob Wolf,  100 Thieves will be trading former World Champion bottom laner Bae “Bang” Jun-sik to the now reinducted Evil Geniuses. Evil Geniuses recently acquired its LCS spot from Echo Fox, marking their first official appearance in a Riot-sanctioned league since the NA LCS 2015 Spring Promotion tournament, wherein they were forced to give up their spot to Winterfox.

Joining Bang in the line-up is former Cloud 9 support pilot Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam and jungler Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen.  In the meantime, 100 Thieves will field Matthew “Deftly’ Chen in the AD carry position, assuming a better replacement is not found during the offseason.

100 Thieves ended their 2019 Season in Summer with an 8th place finish from an 8-10 record, with Echo Fox—the team which precedes Evil Geniuses— placing dead last in 10th, and a 4-14 record.

Source – ESPN


Michale ‘Drexxin’ Lalor is the Editor-in-Chief at Esports Heaven. Follow him on Twitter at @ESHDrexxin.

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games – Lolesports Flickr

Bdd and Clid complete Gen. G’s 2020 roster

 

Only two moons ago, the majority of Gen. G’s roster had been removed, signaling a rebuild for the Korean organization. The middling squad’s main bottom duo of Kim “Life” Jeong-Min and Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk have remained in the 2020 line-up, having had their contracts extended through 2020 and 2022 respectively.

The organization finished 7th place in LCK Spring’s 2019 season, improving to a 6th place finish in LCK 2019 summer. Having picked up some of the top free agents in the market going forward, time will tell where the team ends up next year.


Michale ‘Drexxin’ Lalor is the Editor-in-Chief of Esports Heaven. You can follow him on Twitter at @ESHDrexxin.

Founder of Invictus Gaming and CEO of PandaTV, Wang Sicong, in Debt $21.6M

 

As first reported by South China Morning Post, Wang Sicong, founder of esports organization Invictus Gaming and CEO of PandaTV is currently in debt $21.6M after being involved in a lawsuit last year in December for $515,000 by Cao Yue, a PandaTV host. This court order has been given after Wang Sicong had refused to follow the court’s ruling. According to the Daily Mail, “The court said he had failed to issue a 3.6 million yuan (£400,000) in compensation to a business competitor in a lawsuit related to the employment of one of Sicong’s staff who used to work for his rival”. Wang Sicong is also banned by court order from first-class travel, star-rated hotels, buying luxury goods, buying property and even visiting night clubs or playing golf. These restrictions can be lifted by the court if deemed an impediment to business operations. This could also be in response to China’s new social credit system.

This news comes after former Worlds 2018 champions Invictus Gaming was knocked out of the League of Legends Worlds tournament during a quarterfinals match against FunPlus Phoenix, eventual Summoner’s Cup winners. As to what effects will be had on the former world championship team based on this situation remains to be seen, as his involvement with the team could be impacted by this court order.

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Izento has been a writer for the LoL scene since Season 7, and has been playing the game since Season 1. Follow him on Twitter at @ggIzento for more League content.

Images courtesy of Riot Games

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VCS will adopt a double-elimination format for their play-offs

 

On the 11th of June, it was announced on the Vietnam Championship Series’ official Facebook page that the Vietnam Championship Series (VCS) will have a double-elimination bracket for its play-offs, due to the need to send two teams from the Vietnamese region to Worlds 2019, as opposed to one, as is the case for other emerging regions. The additional seed was won by Phong Vũ Buffalo via being the best-placed emerging region team at the Mid-Seasonal Invitational 2019.

The top four teams will qualify to the play-offs from the regular stage, and the first upper bracket will be decided via the top-placed team in the group getting to select his opponent between the 3rd and 4th-placed teams.

 

From here the bracket follows a standard double-elimination format, with losers dropping to the lower bracket. The winner of the lower bracket will secure a seed at the Play-In Stage at Worlds 2019, while the winner of the Winners’ Bracket will be crowned VCS champions and be seeded directly to the Group Stage at Worlds 2019.

 

All play-off matches will be contested in Best of 5.

 

A similar double-elimination bracket was adopted the year that the GPL (which Vietnam was a part of) won two slots at Worlds in 2017. That year, it was the Gigabyte Marines who secured the direct seed into Groups, while Young Generation overcame Ascension Gaming in the Losers’ Bracket final to book a play-in spot for the first time.

 

Credits to VN_Conqueror and Cookthechef for assisting with translations


You can head over to our League of Legends hub for more content.

For more news and articles, follow the author on Twitter at @amigrainelol.

Stark Departs EVOS Esports And Becomes A Free Agent

 

According to sources, top laner Phan ‘Stark’ Công Minh has left EVOS Esports and is now a free agent.

A Facebook post by EVOS’ mid laner Lê ‘Dia1’ Phú Quý would appear to corroborate this, with the names of Stark, Nguyễn ‘YiJin’ Lê Hải Đăng, and Lê ‘RonOP’ Thiên Hàn’s names notably missing from the whiteboard, probably indicating their departures.

Fans may recognize Stark from his exploits internationally with both the Gigabyte Marines at the Mid-Season Invitational 2017, as well as MSI the following year with EVOS. The top laner was one of the first major acquisitions by EVOS back in 2017, after his departure from the Gigabyte Marines. Known for his propensity to play carry top lane champions, Stark played a big part in the team qualifying for MSI 2018.

The organization is seemingly looking in a new direction going forward, having already parted ways with Nguyễn ‘Slay’ Ngọc Hùng and coach Jensen ‘Jensen’ Goh earlier in the split as they faced an uphill struggle to regain the form that brought them their first VCS title in Spring 2018, falling to Phong Vũ Buffalo in the VCS Spring 2019 play-off finals.


Images credit to LoL Esports and Dia1’s Facebook page

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If you enjoyed this article, follow the author on Twitter at @amigrainelol.

Skemberlu leaves Neon Esports?

 

Rolen Andrei Gabriel “Skemberlu” Ong has been removed from Neon Esports active roster, according to Dota 2 Majors registration page. This removal comes few days after he joined the Philippines Dota 2 team.

Skem

He previously played for Arcanys Gaming, Signify, Geek Fam — to name a few before being recruited by Jacky “EternalEnvy” Mao to compLexity Gaming as their new carry in the post-TI8 shuffle period alongside Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu to complete the coL roster.

Initially, he had trouble playing with the team as he was unable to procure his visa to the United States of America due to some issues. He soon joined coL at their gaming house following the approval of his visa and treated the viewers with some clutch performances.

However, Skemberlu’s period at coL was cut short as he came heavily under fire for his racist remarks against Chinese players in DreamLeague Minor Season 9. Shortly after, he was penalized by coL and removed from the team by the management.

No official reason has been given as to Skem’s removal from the team. There are no whereabouts on his future plans as of yet.


If you would like to know more about my work, you can follow me at KarY.

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courtesy: ggScore