Riot Games, developer of League of Legends, has closed its official chat room system. This comes because Riot says that the current chat rooms have become “rife with RP sellers, scammers and Elo-boost spam”. Shutting down the chats will allow the company to rebuild them in a way that allows better control over “unwelcome drop-ins and toxic behavior”. There is no word on how long the system will be gone, and most LoL players will have to make do with the General Discussion forum for the time being.
It is no secret that online games contain large numbers of players with toxic behaviour that provide a negative experience for other players. Most games provide moderators to remove these players and ban them from participating in the games. Riot is one of the developers that has been doing a lot of work to clean up the community; going as far as banning professional players for using offensive language or verbal abuse. It is difficult to say if the bans are having any effect on the problem, but at least Riot is acknowledging that there is a problem to begin with.
Outside the game, users of the chat system have expressed the need for greater moderation tools. Especially for those who have created their own channels and are unable to remove spammers and abusive personalities. Before the suspension of the chat, these mods had no control over what could be posted in their rooms.
It could be a while before the chat room system returns; especially considering the reputation of the community that surrounds the MOBA genre. But if it allows for a more mature conversation with others and becomes friendlier for new players, it will all be worth it.
[Source: League of Legends]