League of Legends' community doesn't exactly have the best reputation for sportsmanlike conduct or grace in defeat. It's a rough neighbourhood, folks say in hushed, fearful tones while chattering in internet speakeasies, especially for newcomers. Riot, however, would like to refute that claim. With numbers.
As part of an announcement that LoL will soon be giving a substantial Influence Point bonus to anyone who hasn't had their chat restricted or account banned during the 2014 season, Riot dropped an interesting statistic:
"As of 11/13/2014, 95% of active players in 2014 have never received a punishment of any kind. The vast majority of you have not received chat restrictions, ranked restrictions, game bans or permanent bans this year!"
Riot, of course, has poured a lot of effort into prying toxic ticks from LoL's playerbase and attempting to reform them, persuade them to change their ways. Most recently they enacted a system that locks people out of ranked play if they have earned a chat restriction due to poor behaviour. Reactions to that haven't been unanimously positive due to potential abuse of the system, but it's a sign that Riot wants everyone to make nice on its colossal playground.
But there's still work to be done. Even if only five per cent of players are jerks, that's a pretty big number when you consider League of Legends' size (67 million per month, 27 million active on a daily basis, according to Riot). It is, however, nice to remember that the grand majority of people are pretty cool. Riot added:
"We've recently been focused on addressing extreme cases of verbal toxicity, and will soon be testing additional systems that address gameplay toxicity like leavers, AFKs, and intentional feeders. However, it's important to keep in mind that players engaging in these behaviours really are not welcome in our community. Fewer than 1% of players have been escalated to a 14-day ban or permanent ban or even received a chat restriction."
All that said, there is the matter of punishments doled out versus punishments deserved. Some people who get slapped on the wrist deserve time in the slammer, so Riot's metric here isn't entirely indicative of actual moment-to-moment play. And, as ever, companies rarely report statistics that don't make them look good, so there's that to consider as well.
Still, Riot has more systems to punish poor sports planned, and I really like the idea of rewarding good behaviour too. You need both sides of the coin to really get people on board with an idea, so here's hoping Riot is able to strike an ideal balance. Eventually.