Riot warns LoL streamers and players to avoid discussion of sensitive topics

With the League World Championship Group Stage looming, Riot isn't taking any chances.

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Riot Games has issued a statement urging players and all other participants to beware of what they say and to avoid talking about "sensitive topics" during livestreams.

In what appears to be a recently-deleted tweet from the @lolesports account, the announcement is positioned as a way to keep League of Legends a "positive force" for all. 

"We serve fans from many different countries and cultures, and we believe this opportunity comes with a responsibility to keep personal views on sensitive issues (political, religious, or otherwise) separate. These topics are often incredibly nuanced, require deep understanding and a willingness to listen, and cannot be fairly represented in the forum our broadcast provides," said global League of Legends Esports head John Needham "Therefore, we have reminded our casters and pro players to refrain from discussing any of these topics on air."

Riot issued its statement following the happenings surrounding Hearthstone Grandmaster Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai's urging to "liberate Hong Kong" live on stream. Blizzard has been facing protests as a result of its decision to originally strip Ng Wai of his prize money. Riot Games is owned by Chinese company Tencent, which may very well account for much of the sentiment behind the message.

"Our decision also reflects that we have Riot employees and fans in regions where there has been (or there is risk of) political and/or social unrest, including places like Hong Kong. We believe we have a responsibility to do our best to ensure that statements or actions on our official platforms (intended or not) do not escalate potentially sensitive situations," continued the statement.

Riot did not indicate what kind of punishments could come to participants who do not end up following the rules. It's probably best at this point not to provoke the ire of the developer, just to stay on their good side if you're going to be taking part in the event.

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Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a Senior Editor at Shacknews who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 14, 2019 10:15 AM

    Brittany Vincent posted a new article, Riot warns LoL streamers and players to avoid discussion of sensitive topics

    • reply
      October 14, 2019 10:21 AM

      oh man. :( china's reach on this is part impressive and part worrisome.

      I wonder what EGS/Fortnite will do, guessing they might officially do the same thing: "DON'T TALK ABOUT IT AT ALL" and then not say what happens if you do

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        October 14, 2019 11:30 AM

        isnt riot owned by tencent? They are basically a chinese company so yea, I expect it.

        as for epic, Sweeney was one of the first to get out in front of this and basically said, go nuts. Its my company and IDGAF

        • reply
          October 14, 2019 11:34 AM

          Yes, they're a subsidiary of Tencent and they were bought out somewhere around 2011 or so.

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          October 14, 2019 11:42 AM

          100% yes

    • reply
      October 14, 2019 10:22 AM

      Lol?

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      October 14, 2019 10:22 AM

      fuck riot

    • reply
      October 14, 2019 10:58 AM

      I like Winnie the Pooh.

      Oh shit did they just ban me?!?

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      October 14, 2019 11:11 AM

      Get called a faggot in videogames every day and a few years down the line they might install a chat filter and issue some temp bans.

      Try to say something about a nation annexing a peaceful society by military force and they already issued a statement.

      It is very important that we are aware of sensitive topics.

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        October 14, 2019 11:13 AM

        right? direct personal attacks and threats... reviewable by policy. relating to offending china? DON'T DO IT TO BEGIN WITH.

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        October 14, 2019 3:07 PM

        Did you read the article? It’s nothing about in-game. This statement was issued in regards to their annual international tournament currently going on. The title of this article is also misleading cause it says absolutely nothing about League streamers getting punished for saying shit in-game or in their own personal streams. This guy is the head of their esports division.

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      October 14, 2019 11:14 AM

      I haven't played a Riot game, but this statement annoys me.

      Dude says that he is going to "speak clearly", but in describing what is actually not allowed on their streams he goes for turns of phrase like "personal views on sensitive issues (political, religious, or otherwise)", "any of these topics", and "regions where there has been (or there is risk of) political and/or social unrest".

      It's a really specious assumption that silence is apolitical, but we don't even have to go there when policies are as vague as this one. If you can't grow a spine big enough to tell China to f off, at least grow a little baby spine that will allow you to actually say what you mean (e.g., "don't shit talk China" or "don't talk about HK independence").

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      October 14, 2019 11:34 AM

      Guys this company is owned by Tencent, so this shouldn't come as a surprise. Don't forget that it's also the same company that has been repeatedly in the news for a toxic work culture for years.

      Riot at the bureaucratic level is not in the business of doing the "right thing."

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        October 14, 2019 11:46 AM

        Yep, Riot is a trash company.

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        October 14, 2019 11:59 AM

        This isn't a like 5% ownership like epic either. Riot is completely owned by a Chinese company

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          October 14, 2019 12:24 PM

          I think Epic is ~45% Tencent

          Blizzard is the ~5%

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            October 14, 2019 12:29 PM

            Epic is 40%ish. Blizzard definitely 5% through Activision.

    • reply
      October 14, 2019 11:46 AM

      Well, this is going to be a riot.

      /popcorn

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      October 14, 2019 12:17 PM

      at this point, companies who value their chinese customers more than their american customers should GFTO out of america and set up a permanent shop in china.

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        October 14, 2019 12:19 PM

        i mean, Riot did. they sold out to the Chinese way before it was cool

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        October 14, 2019 12:26 PM

        might not be nationality of, but number of.

        I certainly don't care about their customers human rights

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        October 14, 2019 12:31 PM

        Except China is all about protecting their own interests. Foreign companies can't own more than 50% of a Chinese company in a joint venture. Whereas in many other countries such protections don't exist. Chinese companies can own entire American companies :P

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          October 14, 2019 12:41 PM

          As well as foreign companies cannot directly do business in China, they must work through a Chinese-owned company. (Whereas China, or any other foreign company is generally alloweed to do business in the US w/o restrictions)

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      October 14, 2019 12:52 PM

      How far, outside their borders, will China be able to push their censorship? In what ways has it already creeped into games or games design?

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