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League Of Legends Is Getting Serious About Toxic Players

Toxicity is a huge problem in gaming. More and more titles support online matches with increasingly lower barriers to entry. The more gamers that play these titles, the more likely it becomes that audiences will encounter (or possibly become) toxic players. It's simple statistics. While many gamers have agreed that "Fortnite" has some of the most toxic fans on the internet, it seems that "League of Legends" isn't far behind. Luckily, Riot Games has a toxic player antidote up its sleeve.


Recently, Riot revealed its first big update of 2021. Dubbed "Behavioral Systems," this update is designed to "reduce the frequency of" and "mitigate harm caused by" disruptive behavior, especially that of repeat offenders. Riot Games has already released a system to counter players who intentionally die to give their opponents the edge (i.e., "Intentional Feeding"), and the company plans to expand into other aspects of player toxicity, such as queue dodging (interrupting the connection to the game server on the champion select screen).

Toxic players who engage in queue dodging can expect to incur increasingly higher penalties. The first and second dodges within 24 hours will be punished with a six and 30-minute lockout, respectively, as well as 3 and 10 LP deductions from their ranks, respectively. Anyone who tries dodging a third time in a day will be barred for 12 hours and lose another 10 LP. These punishments are only the tip of the iceberg, as Riot plans to crack down on other issues, such as holding players hostage in the champion select screen.


Riot Games will also venture into the wide world of AFK prevention, which isn't so cut and dry. Some players go AFK ("away from keyboard") due to situations outside their control, such as sudden internet or power outages. The question becomes: how do you tell the difference between those unfortunate players and gamers who go AFK belligerently? 

Riot believes repeatedly going AFK is linked to toxic behavior. Currently, "League of Legends" sports three tiers that penalize players with five, 10, and 15-minute lockouts respectively, but Riot plans to up the severity exponentially. A gamer's first AFK punishment will remain a five-minute slap on the wrist, but a second offense will result in a 30-minute lockout. As for the third tier, well, that will earn offenders a whopping 14 days of digital jail time. Oh, and each AFK punishment tier will incur increasingly harsh LP losses.

Going forward, Riot Games plans to improve other parts of "League of Legends" to crack down on player toxicity. Expect refined punishments, as well as improved reporting and verbal abuse detection systems, in the coming year.