Riot is cracking down on soft-inting in LoL—and wants feedback on how brutal bans should be

Riot Games is spinning up the wheels on a huge League of Legends crackdown, with “soft-inting” now firmly in the developers’ sights. The team isn’t playing around either, with Vanguard-backed hardware bans very likely.

Game director Pu Liu put League players across every server on notice regarding “soft-inting” with a post on X (formerly Twitter) today, where the MOBA boss declared open season on the toxic offence. Riot sees it as one of the “largest problems in the game” and is very eager to stamp it out completely.

A perspective view of the League of Legends champion ban screen
It’s unclear just how many League players will be banned in coming months. Image via Riot Games

The crackdown will be fuelled by League’s newly implemented Vanguard system, which is designed to ping offenders automatically. Using the kernel-level software, the League development team will hunt down and mark flagged players. Once these soft-inting players are identified, they’ll face suspensions—though how brutal any bans will be may well be in the hands of the playerbase.

Liu put the question to the fandom on July 9: Should any soft-inting players face account-level suspensions, or should the League team use its Vanguard blocking systems to issue harsher, more permanent bans at a hardware level?

The community very quickly responded to Liu’s request for feedback, with many suggesting the system should start with a warning before upgrading to hardware bans. Others came back with more questions than answers, especially around “the separation between soft inting and genuinely having a bad game.”

The bottom line was there was no clear winner for how Riot should treat these offenders today, though many leaned towards Vanguard-backed hardware bans.

Graph showing number of bans in League of Legends after Vanguard was implemented.
Major League suspensions have already been on the rise post-Vanguard. Image via Riot Games

Perhaps the more worrying thing here is how vaguely Riot has defined “soft-inting” over the years. Most League players would say anyone not attempting to win⁠—but not actively feeding—could fall under the term. Stealing jungle camps and creeps, deliberately missing skillshots, and running around without joining fights could all easily fall under the umbrella for most. Whether Riot agrees though is very unclear.

Riot has always been very active in trying to stamp out toxic experiences in League and its other games. Over in VALORANT, not playing to win can be bannable.

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