One of the best League of Legends teams in North America took a huge hit in their rooster due to the fact that of their star players was suspended for ELO boosting.
Team Impulse mid laner Yu “XiaoWeiXiao” Xian has been involved in an ELO boosting operation that allegedly involved team manager Alex Gu.
Riot Games confirmed the player was involved in “misconduct.” “We have spoken with XiaoWeiXiao regarding ELO boosting allegations,” Hunter Leigh, esports manager at Riot Games, told the Daily Dot. “He has confirmed misconduct and is suspended pending investigation.”
“On July 21, LCS officials were made aware of evidence suggestiong that Xian “XiaoWeiXiao” Yu was engaged in ELO Boosting. Further investigation also suggested that XiaoWeiXiao had been in talks to sell and account with all champion skins unlocked to the same party who paid him to ELO Boost. XiaoWeiXiao came forward shortly after alleagations were made publica and admitted to LCS officials that he had ELO Boosted one account even after allegedly being discouraged from going so by his ELO Boosting associate. After further inquiry, he denied boosting any other accounts or negotiating to sell an account.
Over the next several days, LCS officials discovered evidence that XWX has been attempting to sell an unlocked account in addition to ELO Boost. After a second interview with XiaoWeiXiao where he was presented with the evidence, he admitted that had been attempting to sell an account to the same party who paid him the ELO Boost. LCS-unlocked account have all in-game content unlocked and are given to LCS players as a privilege for the participating in the LCS.”
What about Alex Gu and Team Impulse management? Is there any reason to believe they were involved?
XiaoWeiXiao made use of Alex Gu’s Paypal account to collect payment for ELO Boosting, which raised questions about whether Alex or TIP management was involved in the alleged ELO Boosting. After speaking with Alex and XiaoWeiXiao, both denied any involvement or knowledge of TIP management in XiaoWeiXiao’s Elo Boosting or attempted account selling. Both maintained that when XiaoWeiXiao first began streaming in the United Stated of America he found that he could not set up a PayPal account without a Social Security Number, so he opted to use Ales’x instead in order to collect stream donations. Other members of the Team Impulse corroborated that Alex never discussed or encouraged ELO Boosting with team members. Alex maintains that neither he nor any other TIP players used PayPal account; XiaoWeiXiao was the primary user of the account. XiaoWeiXiao maintained that he acted alone without the participation of TIP management or his teammates.
Our investiagion ultimately uncovered no evidence to indicate that Alex Gu wss knowingly involved with XiaoWeiXiao ELO Boosting or attempted account selling.” By Hunter “Riot Hebble” Leigh
On July 14-16 of 2015, XiaoWeiXiao engaged in conversation via Chinese mobile text and voice messaging app WeChat with a League of Legends player who was interested in receiving elo boosting.
For the price of $1300 USD, XiaoWeiXiao played on the user’s account to boost it to a higher ranking. When asked for the email for the money to be sent to via Paypal, Xiao gave him an email address. That email is linked to a Skype username of the same name, the same one used by Team Impulse manager Alex Gu.
The translated transcript of the conversation between the two parties follows:
“Account Holder (3:13:24): PAYPAL
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (3:13:47): *****@*****.com
Account Holder (3:16:01): Can pay 1400?
Account Holder (3:16:15): Masters 100 LP, then 1400, for customer safety?
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (3:16:24): Masters
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (3:16:31): Then the other half
Account Holder (3:16:39): Will do Account Holder (3:16:44): Anyway is fine, as long as honesty is there
Account Holder (4:07:51): How much did you get?
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (4:08:26): Total of 980.
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (4:08:33): Together with the 410 from before
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (4:08:36): 1300
Account Holder (4:08:46): Satisfied.
Account Holder (4:08:48): Now?
Account Holder (4:08:52): The payment I asked
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (4:08:56): Sure
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (4:09:02): After I withdraw the money
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (9:35:56): You're really annoying
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (9:36:04): If you don't believe it, don't come to me
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (9:36:08): I told you, as soon as the money arrives, I'll do it
Account Holder (9:36:42): Okay, no rush. Just within these five days, I won't rush you
2015-07-15 TIP XiaoWeiXiao (9:11:14): The money is here
TIP XiaoWeiXiao (9:11:20): I've already started
Account Holder (0:06:45): Okay”
The account in question, “WeChat DaiLanOP," shares similar item builds and key bindings to Yu's own account “XiaoWeiXiao” during the time frame in question. Champions shared between the two include Twisted Fate, Ezreal, Yasuo, and Lee Sin, all of which share item builds and summoner spells between the two accounts. Additionally, the boosted account duo-queued with another North American account by the name of “Prayyyy.” This account matches one Team Impulse jungler Lee "Rush" Yoon-jae used to play while streaming.
Was Rush involved in the ELO Boosting?
“While ELO Boosting, XiaoWeiXiao duo queued many of this games with his teammate “Rush” to help boost the account more quickly. When asked, both players denied that “Rush” knew that XiaoWeiXiao was ELO Boosting. Based on our conversations with XiaoWeiXiao, “Rush”, and several other sources we believe that “Rush” did not realized that XiaoWeiXiao was ELO Boosting. As a result, we are not penalizing “Rush” in connection with this case.”
By Hunter “Riot Hebble” Leigh
Only XiaoWeiXiao has admitted wrongdoing. Alex Gu and Team Impulse said the following:
"The second I found out [about the ELO boosting] I went right up to XWX to ask him what happened" said Gu. "We decided...[after] he had admitted it...we went straight to Riot to come clean. I do feel responsible for this whole incident, not because I was involved, but because this happened under my watch. "
He clarified the situation further, later saying: "The day we went to Riot, we were fully cooperating with Riot's investigation...We had nothing to hide - me and the organization...it was purely XiaoWeiXiao's individual event.”
Riot Games has recently banned several professional players for similar behaviour. Shern “Shernfire” Tai, for instance, was suspended from competitive play until January 2016 due to ELO Boosting in Oceania.
The jungler for North American Challenger side Vortex, Shern “Shernfire” Tai, has left the Team Coast gaming house and returned to his home in Australia.
In early May 2015, Riot Games Oceania denied Tai entry to play with the team Dire Wolves in the Oceania Pro League, allegedly for elo boosting via account sharing.
Tai has been scrimmaging with Vortex over the past month, and the team intended to field him on a starting roster until Riot notified them that he would be ineligible to play.
Tai is hardly the second pro to get banned for ELO Boosting. Fellow Oceania player Sam “Paws” Poursinal was suspended for ELO Boosting on January 2015. And two years before in North America, a number of well-known professional players, including William “Meteos” Hartman, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero, Zacqueri “Aphromoo” Black, Brandon “Dontmashme” Phan—faced account suspensions for ELO Boosting, as well.
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