It’s an unfortunate reality but it’s documented that there are quite a few eSports players who refuse to play nice. Not just in fight to the death, ‘show no mercy’ tactics of the eSports games at hand but often in their social conduct too.

Making the world of online gaming a treacherous place for the faint of heart, these sorts of awful players are an unfortunate running joke for how they often verbally abuse (and, in extreme cases, send threats towards) other players on opposing teams. In League of Legends, the problem is such that a stat often presented to players before they go out to battle is that players who send verbal abuse are approximately 60% more likely to lose their game than players who are friendly.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. Announced by the Lead Designer of Social Systems at Riot Games, Jeffrey Lin, the League of Legends’ developer is now testing a massive new overhaul set to discourage serial abusive defenders or ban them altogether.

“Today, players that show extreme toxicity (intentional feeding or racism, etc) will be instantly 14-day or permabanned in #LeagueOfLegends

That’s what Lin tweeted out earlier this week leading some to express concern of Riot planning to put an automated system in charge of these bans, especially when they could end someone’s League of Legends’ fun forever (technically for 2,500 years). However, in a follow-up tweet, Lin confirmed that false positives would be kept tabs on (with low levels of these resulting in a full rollout of the initiative) and permabans would be reviewed each and every time the system recommended it.

So serious is Riot taking this that if those given a ban ardently protest against it or claim that Riot have doled a ban out for ‘no reason’, the developer will simply have their chatlogs posted for all to see. Lin isn’t playing around with the naming and shaming either as several hours ago one user had their chatlog posted in the official League forums (the chat log is here, trigger warning: homophobic slurs at the link) before said user rather ironically asked for the thread to be taken down as people were “being mean” and making them “feel really bad.”

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It’s not just more positive social attitudes that Riot Games is ushering in in order to have players’ enthusiasm for the game resurge as they have now released a swanky new cinematic that, although being entirely CGI, perhaps captures the feel of playing League of Legends even if the actual visuals of the game aren’t on show.

Leona, Ahri, Jax, Katarina, Rengar, Nautilus and more of the game’s playable characters were all on show, presenting League of Legends teamwork and squad roles. Nautilus (the champion with the anchor), for example, is often played as a formidable tank who can absorb damage like a really big, aquatic sponge. Meanwhile, Ahri (the champion with the tail) is often used to ‘carry’ the team to victory, something clearly shown in the new video.

Separately, the changes may not seem particularly revolutionary, neither will that trailer but combined it allows Riot Games to address a longstanding League of Legends issue that players have complained about — the game often fails to be accessible. Hopefully this, in turn with the addition of Intro Bots, will reinvigorate the player base and continue to see the free-to-play game make the hundreds of million dollars in revenue that it does each year; whilst also managing to add to the tens of millions of active players who take part in the MOBA each month.


Source: Jeffrey Lin (1), (2)