Riot announced today it will disable chat between opposing League of Legends teams in the game’s next update as a way of cutting down on the toxicity that’s often present in these conversations.
“While /all chat can be the source of fun social interaction between teams as well as some good-hearted banter, right now negative interactions outweigh the positives,” the development team explained in an official blog post attributed to game director Andrei “Meddler” van Roon and lead gameplay producer Jeremy “Brightmoon” Lee. “We’ll evaluate the impact of this change through verbal abuse reports and penalty rates, as well as surveys and direct feedback from you all.”
League of Legends players were previously able to toggle /all chat off and on but the feature was enabled by default, leaving open the potential for players to be unwillingly bombarded with hateful messages.
The current plan, van Roon elaborated on Twitter, is to leave /all chat disabled for the next few patches and then survey players for their opinions as to whether they want to keep the change or revert to the previous system. The decision may even differentiate by region if the experiences are varied enough.
The news was met with mixed reactions from the League of Legends community, with many indicating that toxic behavior was more of a problem in team chat than in interactions with opponents. Some even described moments of camaraderie, especially between opposing players of the same role. But seeing as being able to converse with allies is vital for this type of competitive game, team chat will stick around for the time being.
“We know this sucks for those of you who just want to compliment your lane opponent’s skin or ask for a dance party in Baron pit,” Riot added. “But we believe the tradeoff is worth it to cut down on the growing negativity /all chat has been creating in your games.”
League of Legends patch 11.21 is scheduled for next Wednesday, October 20.