With any public announcement or post, it takes time to clearly and concisely address any concerns that may be present. We understand why this can cause frustration, or be seen as inaction, however, we believe we should take our time for the sake of accuracy.
To start, some things about the report committee team need to be clarified. The report committee team that handles misconduct reports in the league is a separate department within RGL that consists of a few division admins from each format. This does not mean that all division admins handle the reports (over 16+ in peak weeks) every week. Furthermore, there is no overlap between the report committee team and the anti-cheat team. As a result, while bans issued for violation of our slur guidelines are issued weekly, cheating bans may take much longer due to the pace on how that department operates (division admins have zero influence or work in this).
Lastly, the RGL team only looks at user-submitted reports. If you do not file a report, then there is zero chance that we have seen it and are unable to deal with the situation.
Regarding the Case
Recently, there was a particular report concerning Invite players violating our guidelines regarding the usage of slurs during scrims and matches that the report team looked over during this week. The evidence supplied included a link to the logs where the incident took place, with the chat picking up the usage of racist comments and slurs used by several Invite 6s players. In reports where admins are unable to verify if a slur was used, admins will reach out to the reporter for more evidence (e.g. a POV or STV demo) that can be used to fully confirm that the incident took place. With the logs.tf link recording what was said in the chat, the evidence was initially understood to be a case where racist comments were used during a scrim with two Invite 6s teams
. With the logs.tf chat confirming this, there was not an initial need to do a follow-up to confirm that these comments were said. It was not until after the penalty was issued that it came to our attention that the event took place before the scrim involving one Invite team going over the map by themselves
With all the reports that the report team looks over, this is the first instance of a situation where logs.tf picked up chat before the scrim taking place. It must be reiterated that upon the initial review of the report, the expectation was that the incident occurred during a scrim. As such, this specific instance falls in between our rules of not using hate speech in scrims and RGL not policing things outside of RGL (Twitch, PUGs, Discords, etc.). This is due to the logs coming from a scrim and appearing to the people who played in the scrim but were not present at the time. Had this took place when both teams were present during the scrim, the RGL rules explicitly would cover this as an area that is enforceable and is grounds for a penalty to be issued. However, this was not the case and there are a couple of questions that arise due to this:
- Should racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc., comments by players in logs (if it is picked up at all by logs) for scrims/matches be considered actionable territory?
- What specific higher standards should exist for Invite players?
- What boundaries for Invite players exist if racism/sexism/-ism occur?
In RGL, it is clear that we want highly derogatory terms, bigotry, and persistent harassment to fade out within our community. When players are subjected to this unwarranted hostility, it has many ill-effects that can push players out or make them feel unwelcome in our league. Additionally, in a league that is constantly trying to grow and develop, the ability to obtain and work with sponsors is a key aspect that the organization has sought out. This is also accompanied by our mission to strive for a good-natured competitive environment where players can feel safe playing the game that they enjoy. It does not bode well when your top players are engaging in this behavior, which is why we have unequivocally pushed for larger punishments on our Invite players, since they often participate in casted matches and represent the league in which they play.
As presently constructed, the RGL rules do not have any clear guidelines on the boundaries for the "higher standards" that Invite players to have. We do want to aim to enlist clear guidelines for behavior to follow so there are no misunderstandings on how specific rulings are enforced. With that noted, we do not condone the actions of the Invite players reported, however, we have lifted the bans for now due to it not being in line with our current ruleset
We are always actively in talks with sponsors from different companies (a few have reached out to us) and this kind of public behavior can hurt our chances at both keeping and attracting sponsors. This is why we expect to hold the Invite players to higher standards. We will be hosting a player conduct survey to have feedback from our player base on what standards we should expect and how they believe these rules should be applied[, as we have done in the past.