It appears that League of Legends players are being baited into being banned by players coaxing or blackmailing them into using bannable language. Threads on both the game’s forums and subreddit suggest some players have been issued lengthy bans after being encouraged to use slurs and insults by teammates. And, one player claims to be behind it all, the mastermind behind a network of “operatives” going out into games of LoL to do his troll-y bidding.
In happier news, Riot has just announced League of Legends' new champion, Zoe, the Aspect of Twilight.
Essentially, what’s happening is that trolls are exploiting Riot’s own moderation tools by either blackmailing players into using bannable language by threatening to aid the enemy team if they don’t; or by tricking players into using terms they don’t realise are part of Riot’s zero-tolerance filter on hate speech. Bans for hate speech start at 14 days, but there have already been reports of permanent bans.
It’s easy to dismiss this kind of behaviour - League is infamous for its negative community, and a go-to response for most people when confronted with stories like the ones above is that these players are faking remorse to try to get out of their bans. However, a forum post seems to suggest that things aren’t as simple as they seem.
Over on League of Legends’ forums, a player going by ‘CreampEye’ claims to be behind the whole thing and they’re doing it to force Riot to change their report system.
“I decided to use my skills and experience to help improve this situation,” CreampEye writes. “At first I tried to give Riot feedback directly. I was blatantly ignored as many others have stated. Riot was just too big to listen or did not care. I am not sure which.”
They say that they started acting alone, and found immediate success. “I had a good time doing it by myself as I got over 200 bans (at least 70 of them confirmed permas) in the first month by myself back in January of 2016.”
CreampEye claims that they rarely had accounts banned throughout this. “It seemed I just never got caught no matter how much verbal baiting, intentional feeding, trolling, intentional losing, or other non verbal curse word violations I performed.”
This is when CreampEye starts sounding like a disney villain… moreso. (Really, you should read this manifesto. Even if CreampEye is making the whole thing up, it makes for an entertaining read). They say they “realized I could build an army. An army of followers to do my bidding for me. I started training people on how to manipulate and exploit the IFS (Instant Feedback System). This worked pretty well with only a few people who did not follow my precise instructions getting hit with bans.”
CreampEye claims to have started telling recruits they’d be paid for getting people banned - like a kind of ban bounty system.
It seems that this is an issue that Riot are aware of, and are attempting to combat it - the first forum link above contains comments from Riot Tantram, Riot’s technical lead for the player behaviour team. Players who have been banned as a result of this should be able to get their bans revoked if they submit a ticket. We’ve reached out to Riot for comment.