Tarzaned – it’s the simple summoner name that has come to serve as an allegory for all aspiring players within the North American League of Legends scene. The notorious jungle main, whose identity remains largely unknown, is one of the game’s best known names away from the competitive scene, due in equal parts to his indisputable talent for the game, but also his venomous levels of in-game toxicity. Faced with one final chance to make his dream of a professional career a reality, Tarzaned threw it all away after threatening to “break his teammate’s head”.
Under normal circumstances, Tarzaned almost certainly would have been signed to a professional League of Legends organisation by this stage in his career. Finishing as the top ranking player in North America’s solo queue ladder for Season 6, Tarzaned surpassed both NA LCS stars (notably Cloud9’s Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi and Echo Fox’s Henrik “Froggen” Hansen) in addition to a host of Challenger Series hopefuls on his journey to become the regions undisputed king of solo queue.
Whilst his performances on the rift stood to speak for themselves, Tarzaned urge to vehemently express himself through the keyboard has continued to detract from his dominance in the jungle. Riot Games’ stance towards in game toxicity is one of zero tolerance and as a figure of public interest, Tarzaned has suffered the wrath of the game publisher’s ban hammer on seemingly countless occasions.
The latest ban, just two months after his main account received a permanent-ban, came after repeated threats of violence and verbal abuse towards his in-game teammates. The self-destructive talent took to the medium of twitter to continue his tirade:
— Tarzaned (@LoLTarzaned) 11 January 2017
Whilst there has never been an official announcement from Riot on the issue, Tarzaned has evidently received a black mark from the company’s eSports department. In spite of his unfavourable reputation, the jungler insists he will continue to strive to play in the North American League of Legends Championship Series:
“I have actually not received any offers whatsoever except for a team striving to be apart of the NA LCS, I believe.
“Believe it or not, but no teams at all have approached me aside from this one team in particular.
“I’d love to play for a top tier competitive team such as TSM, or C9.
“I know I have what it takes to be the very best and I’d love to prove myself on the international stage.”
The best opportunity to date for unsigned solo queue talents to demonstrate their value to professional organisations presented itself in the form of Riot’s Scouting Grounds event following the conclusion of Season 6 at the end of 2016. The showcase was designed to gather the top prospects from the solo queue ladder under one roof in Los Angeles, where they would be given the chance to play in front of pro teams for a chance at a professional contract.
The top four highest-ranked players from each position would be invited, provided they met a set of requirements legislated by Riot Games. Whilst Tarzaned met the majority of the outlined laws for the event, one point was immediately highlighted as a point of contention for NA’s top ranking solo queue player:
You can pass a player behavior check, similar to what Challenger and LCS players must pass. This check includes a review of in-game behavior, Terms of Service violations, and looks at previous bans or suspensions
Riot Games Official Announcement
After responding to attend Scouting Grounds, Tarzaned application was quickly declined by Riot Games Senior eSports Coordinator, J.T Vandenbree, providing screenshots of some of the jungler’s recent social media activity to support the decision:
In response to Riot’s cold-shoulder, Tarzaned sought to openly flaunt the company’s code of conduct at every given opportunity. In addition to his fervent toxicity in-game, Tarzaned publicly advertised his services as an account booster. Receiving large sums to boost clients’ account to their desired in-game rank, he claimed to be making more than the average NA LCS pro by pursuing his new avenue of business:
Opening 2017 Boosting Service with only BEST of NA.
Orders from Bronze – RANK 1
DM for business Inquiries, starting immediately 🙂
— Tarzaned (@LoLTarzaned) December 27, 2016
I made 10, 000$ from my chair in January.
Who Needs To Play In LCS Lol!
— Tarzaned (@LoLTarzaned) February 1, 2017
Whilst profitable, account boosting did not fulfil the solo queue prodigy’s drive for competitive play. After offering coaching to a number of current and former professionals, Tarzaned released an announcement which outlined his goals for 2017:
Whilst he may aspire to represent organisations such as Cloud9 and Team SoloMid, in reality neither of these organisations would ever consider picking up Tarzaned on account of the brand damage his acquisition would cause. A far more realistic route into the NA LCS would involve progression through the 2017 Summer NA CS Open Qualifier. Tarzaned joined a roster of fellow aspiring pros, where his story would take yet another turn:
Playing NAOQ for the first time has been way more competitive than I expected.
Hopefully we can go all the way
— Tarzaned (@LoLTarzaned) 17 April 2017
As part of the team named “Loyal Til Familien”, Tarzaned and his newfound teammates progressed through the first rounds of the qualifier format, on course to compete in the final for a place in the NA CS. For a brief period at least, it appeared that the jungler was capable of working within a team environment to achieve a shared goal… yet the honeymoon period did not last long:
Will no longer be playing in OQ as team has decided to utilize a sub instead of me.
Thank you guys for the support though, xo.
— Tarzaned (@LoLTarzaned) 20 April 2017
Then came the statement that would serve as the final nail in the coffin for Tarzaned competitive career:
It was revealed (in no uncertain terms) that Tarzaned had exchanged words with the team’s support, Derek “Lohpally” Abrams. The threat of physical violence after an in-game disagreement between teammates will surely dissuade any team, even those competing for a place in the challenger scene, from hiring Tarzaned’s services in the jungle.
Not my head please
— Lohpally (@Lohpally) 20 April 2017
Just so everybody knows, tarzaned ragequit the team and told us to find another jungler, we obliged his request
— Lohpally (@Lohpally) 20 April 2017
Tarzaned won’t get another chance to fulfil his dream of a professional career, he has condemned himself to a future in the wilderness of North America’s solo queue and account boosting. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.