Riot want to redefine what it means to play competitively in one of the best free PC games available, League of Legends – so that it encompasses not only good laning, but good sportsmanship too. To that end, the studio’s Competitive and Player Behaviour teams have put their heads together to conceive a new punishment for biting the ears off your teammates: temporary bans from ranked mode.
The feature will tie into the temporary chat bans Riot have already implemented. Players reported for negative behaviour will not only find themselves unable to communicate in-game, but also forced to forgo the ranked queue.
The restrictions will only be lifted once toxic summoners have played through a set number of games in normal draft mode. After that, Riot will perform a final evaluation to see if they’re sufficiently reformed to reenter ranked play.
“They can and should still be reported if they continue to display negative behaviors while playing through their restrictions,” wrote the developers. “Players who haven’t shown improvement will continue to be restricted from playing ranked.”
What’s more, negative players who are still restricted at the end of a season will be ineligible for ranked rewards, including loading screen borders or the Victorious Morgana champion skin. This is the LoL equivalent of getting a stick in your stocking at Christmas.
Riot are happy with how the feature’s played out on its public test servers, and are now rolling it out to live servers in North America and Europe. If that goes well, the restrictions will start cropping up in other regions too.
Some LoL forumites have pointed out, not unreasonably, that the new restrictions could turn normal mode into a “prisoner’s island for offensive people”. Is that something you’re worried about?