Olivia R. September 24, 2020
Riot is no longer allowing offensive in-game Riot IDs.
Valorant recently tweeted that developers are launching the Forced Name Change initiative. In the tweet announcing the move, the official Valorant Twitter account stated that one of their top priorities is creating a "shortsmanlike environment where players respect one another." One way to address this issue is not allowing offensive in-game Riot IDs.
"Baddies be gone: swifter justice will be served on reports for offensive player names that violate our Code of Conduct. Think hate speech, slurs, etc. The account of a reported player will then go through an automated check," Valorant tweeted.
If the reported account has a "disruptive name," the player will be forced to change it the next time they log into the Riot Client.
"This is just another step of many we’re taking to make Valorant truly welcome for all," Valorant stated.
Valorant developers acknowledged that the Forced Name Change initiative was inspired by Valorant executive producer Anna "SuperCakes" Donlon. The community leader had touched upon the toxicity of the Valorant playerbase earlier in the week.
"I think it's important I'm out here engaging with and learning about our community," SuperCakes said. "I know by doing so I expose myself to negativity; not just about the game, but personal insults about me. And yes, it can sting. I'm going to stick around though."
Forced Name Change program has mixed response from Valorant community
The reaction to the Forced Name Change program was mixed. The Valorant community was split in its opinions on the rule change, with some players feeling the name change isn't enough of a consequence for trolls and toxic players. Some even suggested that Valorant should ban players who try to utilize offensive IDs.
Other Valorant fans felt that people's in-game IDs were the least of the community's problems with toxicity. One player said that women are far more concerned with harassment in-game rather than what someone's name is. While female players temporarily fix the problem by muting more offensive teammates, that doesn't make the community safer in the long term.
In April, a Riot employee admitted on Twitter that she wouldn't solo queue in Valorant because of the sexism and harassment she receives, even if she remains silent and ignores comments made. She said that men will start yelling when they find out she's a girl, treating her poorly and calling her inappropriate names.
"I want to live in a world where this guy doesn't go and ruin other peoples' games. Where people feel safe to speak up. But reality is that in general voice comms land, for a ton of females, their safety mechanism is identifying ppl like this early and remaining silent or muting," she tweeted.