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Beloved League of Legends dev quits social media after “death threats”

League of Legends game designer and former caster David 'Phreak' Turley has chosen to quit social media following "death threats."

A bald man with a goatee wearing a suit and headphones stands looking down past the camera

League of Legends game designer and former LCS caster David ‘Phreak’ Turley has announced that he is quitting social media following a rise in “toxicity” and “death threats.”

Phreak, best known for his League of Legends esports casting, left the competitive arena to join Riot Games as a full-time game designer in 2022. Since then, he has been an active presence on social media, and I’ve written about a lot of his responses to feedback on the MOBA in my time at PCGamesN.

In a Tuesday, November 14 video, however, Phreak explained that he is planning to leave social media following a barrage of alleged “death threats” and an increase in general “toxicity.”

“I am more or less going to quit social media for the immediate future,” he says in his LoL Patch 13.23 preview. “The amount of toxicity has risen so sharply that it’s not worth me seeing the occasional useful comment amidst all the death threats. So, it is what it is.”

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As part of League of Legends patch 13.19, Riot chose to remove scoreboard pings, which allowed players to highlight their allies’ death timers, as well as items in their inventory or ultimate timers. The pings were often used to, using product lead Chris ‘Auberaun’ Roberts’ words, “harass teammates.”

In a recent patch preview, Phreak responded to players’ concerns over the communication changes by suggesting that they simply type that their champion has their ultimate ability in the chat. In response, a League of Legends thread, which currently sits at 13.5k upvotes at the time of writing, called him out directly for “his sheer oversimplification of the use of communication.” It’s likely this incident that has caused the backlash he mentions.