Riot reinstates permabanned League of Legends pro for the first time ever

Nicolaj Jensen

In early 2013, Riot Games issued a permanent ban against League of Legends players Nicolaj Jensen and Khaled Abusagr because of persistent toxic behavior and participation in DDoS attacks against other players. Yesterday, however, it rescinded the ban against Jensen, meaning he will be eligible to resume playing professionally on May 11 of this year.

Nicolaj 'Incarnati0n' Jensen

Nicolaj 'Incarnati0n' Jensen

Image via Twitter

The reinstatement, as noted by Kotaku, is the result of changes made last year to Riot's policies regarding bans and permabans, which now "focus on the goal of reform, not just punishment." As part of those changes, permabans became indefinite suspensions, subject to a review process once a mandatory minimum period of time had passed. "Each review is holistic and takes into account both in and out of game behavior," the policy states. "Penalized players need to show through their ongoing actions that they have made a genuine and long-term change in their behavior."

Jensen apparently has. "Since his last review, Jensen has continued to demonstrate behavior in game that is well above the normal standards of good behavior across all of his accounts since at least January 2014," Riot wrote in the suspension review summary. "Additionally, according to our monitoring tools, he has not been implicated in any DDOS or Drophacking-related exploits since Q2 2013. There have been no serious offenses or violations of the letter or spirit of the Summoner Code since his account-sharing related offense in Q1 2014."

Jensen is the first permabanned League of Legends pro to ever be reinstated, and because of that Riot took extra care to get it right. "In this most recent review, in addition to a review of old and secondary accounts through November, all games on his most recent primary account for which there was a shadow of a doubt regarding Jensen’s behavior were individually analyzed," it wrote. "All the data supports the conclusion that Jensen has legitimately reformed and has earned a second chance."

Unfortunately for Abusagr, Riot declared in no uncertain terms that he's not ready to return. "Abusagr continues to display unacceptably negative behavior without any significant progress toward reform. His most active account has been reported in 47 percent of his games in the last 90 days and 50 percent in the last 60. He's received a total of 1830 reports in 590 games. 70 percent of which were for offensive language, verbal abuse or negative attitude. An audit of chat logs from games he has been reported in reveals consistently offensive, hostile, and homophobic rhetoric," Riot wrote. In light of his "absolute lack of commitment to reform," Abusagr won't be eligible for review again until summer 2017.

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.