Popular League streamer and former pro Christian ‘IWillDominate’ Rivera has been removed from the prestigious League Partner Program for 12 months over “social media violations.” However, Rivera has defended himself, saying he "tried to stay within the lines."
IWillDominate’s co-streams were one of the most popular ways to watch the LCS and LEC. However, the former Team Liquid jungler has had his rights to broadcast the League events stripped away.
Riot has removed IWillDominate from the League Partner Program (LPP), meaning he can no longer co-stream pro games to his fans. He has also lost additional perks within the program, such as League Unlocked.
“Our system flagged statements made on your social media account that violated our policies and desire to foster a safe and inclusive community,” Riot told IWD in an email, which the streamer shared to his community on July 23.
“After taking time to review these statements and taking into consideration you’re currently on probation from the League Partner Program, we’ve determined that your recent comments online are not aligned with the current values of the LPP.”
IWillDominate beat back the tears after reading the statement. He told his community that he wasn’t sure why he was banned, and that he couldn’t think of an example of breaking the LPP guidelines.
“I don’t know why this happened. They didn’t tell me a reason, or what I said. I tried to stay within the lines — I sometimes criticize players and stuff like that, but I don’t think I ever crossed lines with anything homophobic, racist, or not fostering a safe and inclusive community,” Rivera said.
“I’m going to try and talk to them…This is something I’ve changed all my content around. This is something I love doing. It’s what I’m passionate about going forward. I want to see why this happened.”
Rivera has a history with Riot’s banhammer. He was suspended for a year in December 2012 for toxicity, missing the first year of the LCS. While he reflected on how he got through that ban six years ago, he mentioned how this ban hit harder than the one from when he was a player.
“It’s really rough because it’s a thing I look forward to every week. I was really not happy streaming earlier this year and I made the decision to take my channel in a different direction and do things that I’m more passionate about,” he said.
“I did not want to be upset about this. It’s just really hard for me to see [my viewers] sad about this decision. That’s the part that hurts the most because it feels like I’ve let you down. I really wish I knew what caused them to make this decision. It sucks.”
The ban was due to something I said on a social media account of mine based on the email, which limits it to Twitter/Twitch/Youtube. As those are the only platforms that I use, still no response on what though.
— Christian Rivera (@IWDominateLoL) July 23, 2020
Riot denied the streamer's appeal, sending him an email shortly after going live on Twitch, saying "this is not a decision the LCS and LPP teams made lightly."
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"You've shared sentiments and comments with the community that we cannot tolerate or endorse. We can't make exceptions as it related to targeted toxicity, sexism, or racially offensive jokes. These are areas where we need to raise our expectations for partners, not lower them," an unnamed Riot employee told Rivera.
"As you were already on probation from the program and have behaved in this way consistently over time, this decision is now up for debate."
Still don't know what I did though... pic.twitter.com/TF6W3RIo2E
— Christian Rivera (@IWDominateLoL) July 24, 2020
IWillDominate made a commitment to fans though — he isn’t going anywhere. “I will continue to keep doing LCS and LEC-related content because I’m passionate about it. I’ll keep on doing my podcast, and I’ll keep on doing my live viewing [without the co-stream rights].”
Rivera’s ban comes after the LPP was put under the microscope after former Cloud9 pro Hai ‘Hai’ Du Lam was handed a three-month probation for calling out AFK players in his solo queue games. The probation was overturned after players rallied behind Du Lam.
IWillDominate will be eligible to join the LPP again in June 2021.