Cloud9 player fined €500 for flipping the bird at LoL World Championships


The final day of the League of Legends World Championshp group stage was riven with the kind of drama and controversy only esports played at the very top level can provide, as an errant middle finger cost Cloud9 player Hai "Hai" Du Lam a €500 ($556) fine.

The trouble began, according to Kotaku, when Fnatic player Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten told an interviewer that he expected Cloud9 to lose its next match, against ahq e-Sports Club. (Which, in fact, it did.) It was a fairly innocuous comment as these things go, but it inspired Hai to defend his team's honor by unleashing the mighty bird—although truth be told, it was actually a very small, quick, Tweetie-bird type of flip, easy to miss in the video below (around the eight-second mark) if you're not looking for it.

Nonetheless, the gesture was noticed by Riot, which said in the "competitive ruling" that rules dictate "a Team Member may not take any action or perform any gesture directed at an opposing Team Member, or incite any other individual(s) to do the same, which is insulting, mocking, disruptive, or antagonistic." That, of course, is exactly what Hai did, and thus his wallet is now a little bit lighter.

In his defense, Hai claimed afterward that his finger was more "joshing with your buddies" than "you cut me off on the freeway," tweeting:

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I have no idea what the actual state of their relationship is like, but his explanation seems reasonable. I'm pretty sure I've flipped off every friend I've had at one point or another. Alas for Hai, fingers are fingers and rules are rules, and neither of them should be broken unless you're prepared to deal with the consequences.

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Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.