The frustration of Southeast Asian League of Legends players is starting to reach a boiling point.
Tens of thousands are expressing their dissatisfaction with Riot and its relationship with Garena. The Singaporean game company operates League of Legends in the region, and users from countries like the Philippines and Taiwan are growing more and more tired of Garena’s supposed mishandling of the game.
In fact, so many are so frustrated with the publisher that 23,000 players have signed a petition calling on Riot to break off their arrangement with Garena and start building their own infrastructure in the region. The petition has been circulating on the League of Legends subreddit.
While this call to action may sound explosive, fans have long had reason to be frustrated with Garena. Gripes over things like slow implementation of patches and the game’s lack of integration with services like OP.gg are commonplace, but Garena has also made some terrible mistakes in the past and has an extensive history of security issues.
In 2014, Garena was hacked which resulted in a number of League of Legends and Path of Exile users’ computers being invaded by trojan horses. This happened again in 2015 when the League of Legends installer was infected with malware.
The most recent problem came in 2018, when players discovered that a cryptocurrency mining program had been packaged into Garena’s version of the game client without notice, putting unnecessary strain on users’ computers. It is unclear if this mining program was installed by Garena itself, or if a hacker had proliferated the program through Garena.
Despite serious issues popping up several times, Riot Games has not yet taken control of LoL away from Garena. They also have not yet directly addressed the recent fan outcry. This leaves fans to wonder if Riot is unable to do so, or simply unwilling.