A professional League of Legends player has challenged a streamer to a cage match, with the loser potentially set to quit the game forever.
Xie 'icon' Tian-Yu, who has played in China's League of Legends Pro League since 2015, had a recent disagreement with streamer Tian Huihui during a match in the game's Ranked Solo Queue, ending with icon issuing a challenge for Huihui to meet him in the Octagon.
That disagreement stemmed from icon's decision to play the character Brand, a fire mage, during a game in which he was matched alongside Huihui. icon took to the game's middle lane, a position typically reserved for magic-centric champions, but Brand's role has shifted over the years to that of support. As a result, the decision appears to have upset Huihui, who made his displeasure clear through the game's chat feature.
According to Sohu (opens in new tab) (translated via Google), the argument continued throughout the game until icon eventually challenged Huihui to an octagon cage fight. With his honour as a pro player reportedly besmirched, icon even bought Huihui a flight to Shanghai, where the fight is set to take place.
It's been hard to translate the terms from the Chinese DMs that icon and Huihui shared - even the form that the fight will take isn't clear, but a cage fight implies MMA. One thing, however, is more clear: the loser will have to "quit the network." It's not 100% certain what that means - China does boast a 'super server' on which its top League of Legends players compete, but it's also possible that "quit the network" means quitting LoL altogether.
The latter seems unlikely - icon is still under contract as a player, and to leave the game would be to turn his back on his entire career. Huihui, on the other hand, has suggested that if he were not to quit, he'd donate 1 million yuan (around $147,000) to charity, rather than give up his own livelihood. The match is set to take place on January 25, so we'll see who's forced to step down, and what action they take.
In a more wholesome move, a different League of Legends pro said he'd name his son after the character that made him world champion.