There are times when we just can’t blame the League of Legends developers when something goes wrong. Riot Games added a new warning system to the game for the start of Season 13. A communication wheel which, since the game does not have voice chat, allowed for more efficient communication between colleagues. We could no longer only indicate “danger”, “I am on my way” or “enemy missing”. The new system provided more complex instructions such as “push the line”, “go all out” or “bait beam”. It seemed like an adjustment that could only have positive consequences, but reality shattered any expectations. The “bait” emoticon began to be used as a way of suggest to allies that they hang themselves.

An innocent addition that the worst League of Legends players took over

I’ve known this story for ten months and it still seems surreal to me. The logic of some players was that the emoji it looked like a hook to which a rope could be tied. Thus, some players began to send it repeatedly to their teammates when they had a bad game. At first there were those who did not even understand very well why, but social networks did their job both to explain it and to spread it. Since shortly after the beginning of Season 13, the only use that the emoji has, as harsh as it may sound, is ask classmates to commit suicide. Also, yes, it only affects allies. Since this is an item designed to encourage team play, enemies cannot see it.

Riot Games took action on the matter. after a while changed the design of the notice so that it was more evident that it was the hook of a fishing rod. However, it was of no use. Players who wanted to use it in a toxic way had already taken over its meaning. Furthermore, although someone can be ‘reported’ for sending too many notices, they could not be punished forcefully. At the end of the day, it was an element that – even though no one did it – could be used as tactical instruction. In this sense, just ten months after introducing it into the game, the company has announced that will delete it permanently from League of Legends.

Ping Design

On the left, the first ping design; on the right, the current one.

The change will come in the Patch 13.19 which will be introduced in League of Legends on September 27, according to the update schedule. In this same version, other measures will arrive to fight bad behavior. These include punishment without the possibility of playing ranked for users who do not maintain a good attitude in the games. Additionally notifications about the status of teammates will be removed. When you tap on an ally’s photo from the leaderboards, a message appears in the team chat telling you if they are dead or alive. This, again, was used by many users to ‘spam’ when an ally made a bad move.

These are just some of the measures that will be introduced to fight toxicity in League of Legends. The developers seem committed to continuing to work on it to solve the problem. Well, the bad attitude of the community in an online game is one of the main reasons why many players do not want to try it, according to a study. The situation, in addition to being against the developers’ philosophy, costs the company millions of euros each year.

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