It’s a classic psychological mainstay - reward good behaviour and ignore bad behaviour.
It’s not unknown for particularly distasteful online behaviour to result in players being banned or shunted onto a naughty step server. Riot, however, is trying a different tact. Rewards that are being handed out to most League of Legends players are being withheld from miscreants.
“In the last season of Leagues play, we excluded some of the Ranked Rewards from players that were excessively toxic (so, exhibited severe offensive behaviours such as racism and sexism) or were persistently toxic,” Riot’s lead designer of social systems Jeffrey Lin said. “We’re going to continue this policy this year.”
Like any good justice system, however, Riot also leaves the door open for rehabilitation for all but the worst offenders.
“We always want to encourage reform, and celebrate players that successfully reform by the end of the season,” he added. “So, players that got a Chat or Ranked Restriction during the season, but manage to reform and DO NOT HAVE active Chat or Ranked Restrictions by the season end cut off will still get their Ranked Rewards. Players that still have active Chat or Ranked Restrictions by the season end cut off will not be eligible.
“Three, players that have received escalated bans (so 7-day or 14-day bans) for excessive toxicity at any point during the 2015 Season will not receive Ranked Rewards. Players that have received these types of bans have shown some of the most egregious behaviours in the game, and we have a zero tolerance policy against things like racism, sexism, homophobia and other kinds of hate speech.
“These players WILL be eligible for Ranked Rewards in future seasons if they reform and are not flagged for excessive behaviours in future seasons.”