Even in the sport of competitive video gaming, emotions can run high. And there’s also apparently a rule against flipping someone the bird.
Hai “Hai” Du Lam, a star player for American team Cloud9, has been fined €500 ($556) for giving the middle finger during the League of Legends World Championship group stage. For that amount of money, we assumed he got all up in someone’s face with that gesture, perhaps adding some foul language to go with it.
Then we watched the video.
Did you see it? We missed it the first two times around. Pay attention to the top left corner of the screen.
Yup. There it is, for just a second (or less). Hai made the gesture in response to the interview that was being given by Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten, where he predicted Cloud9 would lose their upcoming match.
“I think ahq is going to win,” Febiven said in response to a question about the next game, “because C9’s playstyle is really predictable and they’re drafting in a similar way every game so I think they are definitely counterable and ahq [Could9’s upcoming opponent] is the better team.”
Riot ruled that Hai making an “obscene gesture towards an opponent while on stage during the final day of Group Stages for the 2015 World Championship” violated section 9.1.3 of the World Championship ruleset, “Disruptive Behavior / Insults.”
Hai and Cloud9 would indeed go on to lose that game to ahq, and were eliminated shortly after. In his defense, Hai tweeted that he didn’t mean to offend anyone and it was a “good fun” finger, not a spiteful one.
As a note, I like @FnaticFebiven a lot, was more in good fun than malice. Hope no ones hurt from that. Also, this scripted worlds sucks. 🙁
— Hai Lam (@Hai_L9) October 11, 2015