Riot Games is making their biggest move yet to combat in-game toxicity in League of Legends. The developer announced today that as of patch 11.21, All Chat will be disabled in all matchmade queues.
For as long as League of Legends has existed, All Chat has been a feature. Riot has clearly weighed the pros and cons and decided that All Chat provides more negatives than positives for player experience.
League of Legends has long had a reputation for toxicity, especially towards newer players and more casual fans. Anyone who plays League with consistency has been insulted by the enemy team for winning or losing, trash-talked at the last minute as the game ends, or otherwise subject to toxic behavior.
Riot’s explanation for they’re making All Chat disabled was short and sweet. Verbal abuse has been rising in League of Legends in 2021, according to Riot. The developer has already taken steps to target AFKing and intentional feeding, so a step towards addressing verbal abuse is logical.
While All Chat will no longer exist, there’s still some interaction. Opponents will be able to see your emotes, laugh, taunt and other emotes unless they have already muted emotes. Post-game lobbies will still be inter-team capable, so there’s still some opportunity to compliment the enemy Lee Sin’s sweet Insec kick.
This change is a double-edged sword. Some of League of Legends’ best moments can be your opponent typing “wp” after a solo kill, or a genuine “Gg!” At the same time, the fact that it’s a common experience among players to be subject to vitriolic diatribes by enemy players isn’t a good thing for League of Legends’ brand. There’s clearly plenty of reasons why they’re disabling All Chat.
This move is sure to cause division among players, as disabling All Chat is an all-or-nothing solution. Rather than targetting more individual instances of verbal abuse, Riot is removing the opportunity for flame wars between teams altogether. Riot doesn’t say this is a permanent change, so League of Legends players have an opportunity to improve the atmosphere in-game.
The change will make its way to live servers on patch 11.21.