Olivia R. September 11, 2020
The League of Legends community has mixed feelings about Clubs being shut down.
Riot Games has announced that it is shutting down its in-game Clubs feature for League of Legends "in the near future," which will most likely be around the end of the year. This feature allows LoL players to find one another within the game, queuing up with people who may not already be on their friend list.
Clubs would have up to 100 members. Players can also have a Club Tag, which could be equipped to represent their Club while playing in a match.
According to Riot developers in a blog post, Clubs have been "vying for attention" with other features League of Legends developers want to build or update. Since Clubs have lost popularity due to this competition and outside organization tools including Discord, it's become clear to the Riot team that it's a community tool that won't beat "industry leaders."
"We're okay with that," the blog post stated.
Developers admitted that TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, Mumble, and Discord have taken over as ways League of Legends players connect with each other. Developers are now "gaming-focused tools" that let players not just coordinate match sessions, but also stream together and communicate in new ways.
"When you compare the feature set of a product like Discord with that of Clubs, our version of a tool to help foster team communication and social inclusion, the disparity in the experience becomes extremely clear," developers noted, urging players to use Discord and other services instead.
Riot developers also admitted that Clubs would need to be rebuilt completely to be a viable part of League of Legends over the next 10 years. For many on the team, it seemed as though it wasn't a great area on which to focus their efforts.
League of Legends fans react to Clubs being shut down
The reaction to Clubs being shut down on PC and mobile was mixed. There were many players who seemed to struggle with the change. Given the ability to be in up to three clubs, there are a good amount of League of Legends players who are active in multiple clubs, interacting with numerous players. For those players, Clubs leaving was not good news.
One League of Legends player expressed her sadness over losing the tag feature.
Another Club fan reiterated this idea, tweeting that the tags give friend groups a "unified identity in-game." For many people they aren't used for communication to begin with. Rather, they are a way to represent friend groups and interests during matches, including champion-specific communities.
Of course, on the other end of the spectrum there are people saying that no one really uses the feature anymore.
Many League of Legends users found the concept ridiculous and pointless, loathing the very idea of "rare club tags." Some League of Legends players even mentioned that players often used Clubs as a way to have "bad words" in their tags. Others joked that players with "loli" and "racist slurs" in their tag were devastated at the news.
In its blog post, Riot told League of Legends players that they want to hear their feedback and understand what will help people transition over the coming months.
For now, the developers have partnered with Discord to "help ease the transition away from Clubs." This will help keep communities together, developers noted, so people can continue to play League of Legends together without any issues. They are giving Club members until the end of 2020 so they have time to coordinate with Club members on how to transition to other communications platforms together.