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League of Legends to Ban Toxic Players

by Eric Frederiksen | July 22, 2014July 22, 2014 8:30 pm PST


If you want to get into League of Legends but are put off by some of the more vocally hateful players, Riot Games’ Lead Designer of Social Systems Jeffrey Lin has some good news for you.

The team is implementing a system that combines machine learning and manual review of player reports meant to better take measures against “extreme cases of toxicity,” such as racism, death threats, homophobia, misogyny, or intentional feeding (dying on purpose to help the other team).

Players affected by these bans will get a 14-day ban to start, but a permanent ban is possible as well. Or, well, it’s permanent for mortals. You’ll be unbanned in the year 2500, so just be patient.

The process will start with one server at a time and be expanded if it is found to be effective. If you’re worried about being mistakenly permabanned, Lin clarifies on two counts. In a subsequent tweet, he explains that every permanent ban is reviewed. Lin also took to Reddit to go into a bit more depth.

In the past, we’ve avoided publicly naming and shaming players; however, we’ve learned in recent months that being transparent is extremely critical to the playerbase’s trust in our systems, so we’ve decided to do a compromise. If players complain about unfair bans for this particular system (so, have a ban year code of 2500), we’re going to be fully transparent and posting the chat logs that resulted in the ban.

Lin adds that they’ll be looking at ways to penalize players who intentionally leave matches or stop playing during the match to disadvantage a team, though any system that addresses this activity will have to be careful to account for things like disconnections, server issues, and the like. Measures related to this would have to be more generous, allowing for players who occasionally get disconnected or pulled away from the keyboard by legitimate real world events.

If this system is successful, it could go a long way toward making the already massive League of Legends more appealing to new players and comfortable for those already in the system.

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Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...