Athene: Harmless Entertainer or Toxic Troll?
posted by snackattack, 343 days agoRumors have been flying that Athene is exploiting, attempting to acquire a higher tier in solo queue by making his friends feed for the team he faced or purposedly creating a negative atmosphere on the enemy team. Some people are saying hes exploiting just to reach the Diamond League. Others state that Athene is only guilty of being generous and has done no wrong. Which one is true? Is he a malicious exploiter - or is he a noble man and hilarious entertainer? Or is it a bit of both?
Amid some questionable circumstances the self-proclaimed "World's Best Gamer" Athene finally completed his several month long journey to Diamond. Yet instead of celebration from his fans the achievement was met with considerable skepticism from the community that led to the discovery of some potentially shady activity. I hope to dig through the colossal mountain of hyperbole from both sides of the argument and look at what we know and perhaps start a more reasoned discussion on the subject.
Keep in mind I do not want to persecute or defend Athene. I am only gathering what evidence I can find in order to fairly present varying opinions on this matter. I simply want to present an objective analysis of the facts and different opinions.
Lets address the first and most recent and uncontroversial of these claims.
Athene duo queued and had friends queue simultaneously in order to game the Ranked system by having more friends on his own team.
Going through twitch VODs as well as his match history tells us that there is no way to deny of this point. A few people he duo-queued with at one point were scattered throughout his recent games in his match history. It becomes clear that he developed a core group of friends that would attempt to re-queue together in order to get in the same game.
As he completely admits at 5:57:45 in this video.
Its actually good that we're queuing with three people, you know why? Its going to be the ultimate rage on the threads, like everybody's going to say "that had three people queueing with him and all that now we even have four, like its just too good."
In Athene's favor: This is hardly an exploit. At best he got three out of five players on his team as coordinated friends, which isn't really that much of an advantage to begin with. Keep in mind its not uncommon for pro teams to queue at similar times after scrims, nobody really complains that there are 3 members of CLG.EU in a random high level game. It may make the game a bit harder to win, but its certainly not malicious in nature.
Against Athene: It is still gaming the system. Riot only wanted to allow duo queues in order to prevent someone from basically having a coordinated team effort vs. 5 random solo-que players. Its not a terrible offense but it is an exploit nonetheless.
Now I want to move onto a similar statement that is certainly more malicious in nature and certainly has a lot more controversy surrounding it.
"In those attempts to get multiple friends in his game if his friends end up on the enemy team Athene asks his friends to throw the games (or they just throw them for him) by feeding him or disconnecting."
This statement is the most controversial and the hardest to prove one way or the other. All we have on this is circumstantial evidence. This evidence does end up going both ways though.
Exhibit A: The piece of evidence that has the League community up in arms is a game wherein after absolutely destroying the game early on, the Jungler (a Xin Zhao) and the mid lane (Irelia) who destroyed Athene and his team (Athene himself was 0/7/1 and his team was 4 kills to 15 deaths and down 3 turrets to zero). Both players suddenly disconnected at the 1:03:40 second mark of the following video.
Exhibit B: A screenshot taken shortly after the aforementioned game shows the Xin Zhao from the game before sending a skype request to Athene. The only thing changed in this screenshot was my attempt to hide any personal information from the screenshot that already hit the internet. If you really want to find the person's real name you could find it if you wanted to. The only important thing is noticing the name of the Xin Zhao player is identical to the skype screen-name of the contact request.
Exhibit C: If you refer to the match history posts I made above we see quite a bit of VENOM Blademaster showing up, who started showing up after this game where he and his duo queue partner happened to disconnect.
Exhibit D: Contrary to previous evidence this evidence shows some of Athene's match history where he got one of his friends on the enemy team yet Athene still lost. This evidence displays that there was at least no ridiculously obvious signs of assisting athene unfairly.
This image was originally posted to reddit with obvious bias saying "Myr Zizz" was trying to throw the game and failed.
However despite the alleged attempts to cheat, this shows a respectable 8/6/15 score, which would seem to disprove any implication that he was told to "throw the game". Or at the very least it would prove he is terrible at throwing games.
Potential Hyperbole: Supposedly there was another screenshot of “proof” that Athene was talking to Blademaster (one of the two leavers) on skype during the game where they both left. As I cannot locate this supposed screenshot it would be unfair to include it as evidence. If he was communicating with Blademaster then that would be a bit more concerning as far as the theory that athene directly asked them to leave the game in order to avoid being demoted to plat III.
In Athene's Favor: All of this is in fact circumstantial. There is no evidence that anyone actually fed him. Even in the game where both players disconnected they actually went out of their way to absolutely dominate him in lane. If they actually wanted to just make him win they could have at least fed him a bit before the disconnect. Also adding the person after the fact doesn’t mean that it was some sort of negotiated deal where they decided to throw the game in order to become his friend. Ultimately all it shows is that Athene was willing to play with a couple people who crushed him in an earlier game.
Against Athene: The fact that 2 people just happened to disconnect while they were crushing him, within 25 seconds of each other is an unbelievably huge stroke of luck for Athene. Then the fact that he adds them to skype and starts duoing with one of the people who was supposedly having internet trouble just minutes before shows some sort of external knowledge on Athene’s part. Would it be very logical to just suddenly join a guy who just disconnected for 20 minutes because of incredibly unreliable internet? Probably not. It may not be conclusive proof, but that alone is pretty sketchy at best. Also these terrible internet problems seemed to never occur in any more of their many many games together.
For the third accusation, its more clear cut similar to the first one, but a bit more in the grey area as far as whether or not its an acceptable behavior in league, especially given that you’re not supposed to be able to dodge in your promotion series.
Statement: "Athene told his duo partner to dodge for him because someone else picked ryze."
This one is as clear cut as the first accusation with a direct recording at 06:02:10 of this video you can hear the whole thing in his final promotion series game to diamond, or what would have been his final game if it weren't for the dodge.
I didn't even dodge, Blademaster dodged, so I don't even lose LP
-Athene in his stream
In Athene's Favor: Riot allows the duo system and they decided to make placement games open like all other games. So to have someone in placement matches that wants a dodge from a troll pick or whatever, its completely within expectations that a duo partner would dodge for them. Theres no real harm done here, and ultimately the opposing team picked ryze specifically because they wanted to troll Athene in the first place. It wouldn’t have even happened to a normal player.
Against Athene: Riot clearly didn't want you to be able to dodge in promotional matches. He uses his friend to dodge because his champion pool is basically one champion. The whole purpose of not being able to dodge is to ensure that players can’t pick and choose their games, which is exactly what athene is doing here.
The last accusation
The last accusation is less of an accusation and more of an analysis on Athene's behavior in League of Legends. The whole purpose of the article is to look at him as a player and to see if he is a toxic influence or just an entertainer having some fun.
Statement: "Athene has shown time and time again he will rage and generally verbally harass others."
This tribunal case cropped up a while ago and shows while he isn't always toxic, he certainly was for one or two games.
In Athene's Favor: Its a persona that he has, theres no real harm done and he doesn't rage that much.
Against Athene: Its irrelevant if its a persona or not, he still rages at people and calls people trolls if he doesn't get Ryze or Soraka. He will lock mid even if there is already one. Thats not a matter of a persona or preference, thats just flat out bad behavior.
Athene, especially right now with his most recent questionable achievement has become one of the most polarizing figures in the League of Legends scene. It seems like you either love him or hate him. The problem with looking at him reasonably is exactly this, the people that love him will defend him to the end of the earth even when he does do something that negatively impacts the community. On the other side of things the people that hate him will exaggerate and make up things to make their arguments seem stronger. Even in this thread where I focused mostly on the recent events I encountered a lot of exaggerated arguments and supposed concrete evidence.
It is my opinion that after objective analysis all I can fairly conclude is that there was some exploitation used in order to achieve diamond. However that is all I can conclude. It is not my place to suggest that he should be banned for this action, let alone a warning. Systems can be exploited all of the time and riot may see this as a serious infraction or a minor one. Most of the serious accusations can't be proven and I think it would be unfair to just accept those as truths. Hopefully with this analysis we can have a reasonable discussion about the situation and resort less to hyperbole.
Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below!
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