Soft-inting in LoL, explained – Riot finally clarifies what will actually get you banned

The League of Legends world has only had one phrase on its lips since Riot Games warned a huge crackdown was coming earlier this week: Soft-inting.

Toxic League players were put firmly on notice when Riot’s game director declared soft-inting one of the “largest problems in the game” and asked the community how roughly anyone found offending should be punished.

This quickly sparked a panic across the fandom, with many fearing they would be suspended simply for struggling in a ranked or casual lobby. Others were eager to see pinged players permanently banned. Throughout the whole hullabaloo, it quickly became clear there was no one right answer to what “soft-inting” is⁠—and after days of confusion, Riot has finally lifted the veil.

The definition of soft-inting in League

Draven puts his hand to his ear in the middle of a fiery battlefield in League of Legends.
We’re closer to a proper meaning for “soft-inting” after today. Image via Riot Games

In the League team’s own words, their biggest focus for this soft-inting crackdown will be the “frustrating and obvious stuff” that other systems⁠—like Vanguard⁠—struggle to combat right now. They include:

  • Following junglers around and stealing camps
  • Selling all your items to buy six Tear of the Goddess
  • Wasting summoner spells

Other actions many League players would consider soft-inting like simply walking around the map without engaging the enemy or deliberately stealing lane creeps weren’t mentioned but are very likely also offences.

Because it can be so difficult to perfectly pin down what an instance of soft-inting is in any given game, the gameplan going forward for Riot now seems to be as simple as getting the new Vanguard system to recognize differences. From there, sifting out those pings with “teammates playing poorly” will be the top priority.

“Making sure we aren’t punishing false positives is a big part of what makes this work so hard,” the League developer later conceded.

⁠An official Riot blog would go a long way

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

There’s a caveat we’re definitely going to have to put here though: This was shared on social media by one Riot developer, not in any formal blog or similar. HuntedFork is most certainly in the League team and we trust their word, but it’s still not an official definition straight from Riot HQ.

For now, today’s claim around “frustrating and obvious stuff” seems like the best we’re going to get, so you can take it as Riot’s stance on soft-inting.

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