If you're familiar with the rest of our content, you might have noticed a pattern. Toxic League personalities that reform to some extent and then become mainstream popular. Tyler1, RAT IRL, Dopa all did it. And it's happening more and more often because everyone, including the League community, loves second chance stories. And rightfully so. Everyone makes mistakes and they should be held accountable for them. But that shouldn't impair or stop their progress and growth as a person in all areas of life. So today we take a look at the story of IWillDominate and his journey from entering pro play to being able to cast official League games after being banned multiple times.
Who is IWillDominate?
Christian Rivera, also known as IWillDominate, is a former League of Legends professional player who used to play jungle. Currently, he's a content creator on platforms like Twitch and Youtube, with his content heavily analysis-focused. Earlier this year he even started participating in the LPL English cast. Born on August 13, 1990, in New York City, young Christian always had a passion for gaming and sports. This especially started to show after his family moved to Miami, Florida when he was five years old. Growing up, his passion for gaming was sparked by Nintendo games like Super Mario before he moved to Warcraft III. He also played traditional sports like basketball and tennis, but eventually opted to focus on eSports.
He started playing League in his sophomore year in college in 2011 and after it ended he decided to drop out of college to pursue his professional career at just 19 years old. His first team was called compLexity Gaming, on which he played for five months until the end of 2011. In January 2012 he joined Dignitas where he spent his next year. In his time at Dignitas, he managed to make a name for himself.
Banned from competitive play for a year
Things were looking up for the young Rivera, who was finally on a stage big enough to garner attention for his talents. But then disaster struck. In his entire tenure playing League competitively and in Solo Queue, IWillDominate was known as a toxic player. And the consequences finally caught up to him.
On December 4, 2012, he received a one-year suspension from the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). The League of Legends tribunal took this action following his continuous unsportsmanlike behavior. Before the permanent ban was issued, the IWillDominate had been brought before the Tribunal nine times and punished eight times.
After the suspension was announced, all of Rivera's accounts were permanently banned and he was kicked from Dignitas. This resembled a major turning point for him. With only one year of professional experience, he wasn't sure if he should continue pursuing League as a career or go back to college. Instead, in December 2012, IWillDominate created his Twitch channel and started streaming his gameplay on a new account. His goal was to prove to the entire community that he intended to change his bad habits and also prove we would still be LCS ready by the time the suspension ended. Although Rivera was banned from the LCS, that didn't mean he couldn't participate in other League events. So IWillDominate joined Pobelter at Curse Academy, where he would play as the starting jungler for the next six months. After losing in the MLG Spring Championship, IWillDominate transferred to the coach and analyst position for the team. After a couple of months working as a coach, he announced that he would join Team Curse as soon as his suspension ended.
After a year filled with moderate success with Curse, it was announced that the team would merge with the Team Liquid organization in the LCS. The next year was probably the peak of IWillDominate's professional career, as the season 5 Team Liquid, ended as the 3rd seed and barely didn't qualify for the World Championship. After that, he announced his retirement from competitive League of Legends. He stayed with the organization to act as a positional coach to his successor Dardoch, and temporarily substituted for Team Liquid Academy in the NACS.
Growing as a content creator and a brand
After he retired, IWillDominate focused on content creation and being a streamer for Team Liquid. In August 2020, his contract with Team Liquid ended and he's now part of Cloud9.In his career as a content creator, IWillDominate has enjoyed tremendous success. So far his Twitch channel has amassed 830 thousand followers and his Youtube channel has 430 thousand subscribers. IWillDominate greatly increased his popularity in the USA and Europe by creating content and interacting with other streamers in 2017. Most of the community is still divided in their opinion of him, though. Those with "thicker skin" love his dark sense of humor and don't mind the antics. Others still criticize him for his approach and how he presents his opinions as an analyst. Even after he retired, IWillDominate hasn't managed to stay away from trouble. In 2019, while he was boot camping in Europe for Worlds, he started playing on a new account that he bought. Since that is against Riot rules, his account got banned 17 hours into his 24-hour stream with fellow streamer RAT IRL.
Another instance of Dom getting into trouble is his removal from the League Partner Program in 2020. He was enjoying great success with his costreams of the LCS, and was the pioneer of the movement that many streamers followed. But this was put to a halt when Riot removed him from the LPP because of comments that he made that were considered sexist. After 200 days of being unable to co-stream Competitive League, Riot lifted his LPP ban. In the meantime, IWillDominate's coverage expanded to the LEC and LPL, often inviting guests to his streams like other streamers, current, and former pro players.
This approach brought him great success and gave him so much exposure that he received the rights to co-stream LPL games. With the LPL looking to expand and be more accessible to the western audience, they've invited Rivera as a caster several times, hoping he serves as an ambassador to the brand. Outside of his daily streams and content creation for his Youtube channel, IWillDominate is a key part of two of the biggest League-related podcasts. He hosts "The Crackdown" with the British eSports journalist Duncan "Thorin" Shields discussing topics related to the guest they're inviting. He is also a part of the "Facecheck" series with Nick "LS" De Cesare and Dgon.
Regardless of people's opinions of IWillDominate, his actions and behavior can never be used to discredit the contributions he has made to the development of the League community. His costreams and the insight he offers as a former pro player have been crucial to the development and engagement the fans have had with the eSports scene. His daily audience of seven to ten thousand viewers has made him one of the top Twitch streamers in the League category, and his LPL coverage has introduced many new fans to the region. Even with him facing constant adversity throughout his career as a player and streamer, it hasn't stopped him from pursuing his goals and I think the entire League community should be grateful for his contributions.