There’s just something different about playing ranked games when you compare it to its less risky counterpart. There’s just something so exhilarating knowing there’s something on the line during a game, and that can contribute to the addictive nature of ranked games. Normally, the process is fairly straightforward.
You gain LP when you win and lose some when you… well… lose. However, sometimes life happens, and we’re forced to attend to our real life chores. These technicalities bring an element of randomness and – dare I say – chaos into some games.
Sometimes, this results in leaving and potentially losing the game, making it a salty experience for your teammates. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a scenario like this, then rest assured your reports don’t go unheard.
With stakes on the line, it goes without saying that there definitely should be some sort of penalty, especially when you could have won the game had the disconnection not occurred. Of course, sometimes it isn’t all in your hands. Power interruptions and other external factors may also come into play.
Whatever the reason, Riot has put a system in place to generally weed out the would-be griefers or give warnings to people with legitimate reasons who don’t do it too often. Today, let’s have a look at some of the scenarios you may encounter.
Also read: Is Smurfing Bannable in League of Legends?
Why Is It There?
According to Riot, there are a couple of reasons why this system is in place. Most notably, it’s there to reduce the frequency and mitigate the damage of behavior any of us would consider “disruptive”. Specifically, what really haunts players is repeat disruptive behavior.
Queue dodging is the most common way to lose LP (League Points). Last year Riot launched the Reporting Confidence System, which is basically their system that optimizes the automated detection and penalties of bad behavior. If you’ve noticed a teammate that has the “penalty applied” status when they go afk, you can thank this bad boy.
That said, you may have also noticed that some players slip through the cracks once in a while. Simply moving and gaining experience often prevents that same system from detecting it 100% accurately.
Again, last year, Riot partnered with Competitive to improve the system. How they specifically do that is still unknown to most of us besides the general optimization promises such as reducing champion selection dodges without directly compromising queue times. At the time of this writing, I personally feel some improvement in this regard. Credit where it’s due, definitely.
Queue dodging basically consumes the time for all the players involved, and the ones left go back to the queue. This strains the system due to them having a “higher priority” in queue to make up for lost time. Later on we will discuss other ways Riot has decided to counter this.
Intentional Feeding and Reporting Confidence
This is one of the most, if not, the single most frustrating griefer you can encounter during your stay in Summoner’s Rift. However, behavior like this can be difficult to detect for automated systems. With that in mind, Riot opted to lean towards the quality of reports.
This makes more sense, as players themselves have spent more time with the accused player. It certainly saves the time for manually reviewing every single game. But how does the game know which reports are legitimate?
It’s easy to spam the report button after every match and accuse teammates of intentionally feeding. Riot tends to favor the individuals who consistently recognize bad or disruptive behavior, and tends to favor their reports over the aforementioned spammers.
Initially, I guess some manual reviewing is in order. If anything, it establishes which reports are more accurate, and this helps automated systems make better choices in the future. Riot has also expressed how it’s okay for some to get through their detection lines, as systems like these grow and improve over time. As players, it’s our job to make responsible decisions, whichever end of the report button we are.
Other Forms of Griefing
Feeding isn’t the only annoying thing in a game like League. Oh no. There are other things people can do to intentionally sabotage their team, such as jungle griefing, lowkey intent to lose without doing it too obviously for the systems to detect, deliberate lane taxing, and other things a bit difficult for automated systems to detect.
With existing fail safes in place, Riot has a tough decision of either reworking everything from the ground up or simply adding penalties. In 2021, they chose the latter. They did have a good reason for it, however. The changes made were done to give stronger penalties for these escalated behaviors. Secondly, they also wanted to address the reasons why dodging is such a viable option in certain scenarios in the first place.
One major reason why people intentionally dodge during champion select is simply because they don’t like or feel too confident with the current lineup. Strangely enough, this is more openly accepted in higher levels of play where more seasoned players can – to some extent – recognize good lineups and synergies.
This makes dodging an enticing solution to a problem where you’d have to otherwise spend upwards of forty minutes fighting an uphill battle.
Earlier, we mentioned that Riot chose to add more severe penalties for certain types of people on top of the existing penalties. The reason for this is because they wanted to avoid overly punishing players with severe penalties in the less common cases of unintentional disconnecting, emergencies, or basically anything that you had no power over.
These forgivable cases remain in the existing tier, while more severe cases get sent over to the new tiers. According to an article by Riot themselves, the penalties are as follows:
- 1st Dodge in 24 hours: 6 minute lockout (15 for ARAM) and -3LP in ranked
- 2nd Dodge in 24 hours: 30 minute lockout and -10LP in ranked
- 3rd Dodge in 24 hours: 12 hour lockout and -10LP in ranked
Again, over time, this is expected to remove dodging as a tool you can use when you don’t like the matchup and discourages people from doing it in general, as trying would at least give you a chance to win some LP instead of an assured loss of LP.
On top of dodging AFK, is another serious offense. Once again, Riot uses the same approach by revising the system to not overly punish players who have rare disconnects. From the official website, the revised tier is as follows:
- 1st Tier: 5 minute lockout and auto-loss
- 2nd Tier: 30 minute lockout and auto-loss
- 3rd Tier: 14 day lockout and auto-loss
In addition to this, there is another LP penalty that escalates when going AFK or leaving ranked games. It goes up by one tier when you leave or AFK and de-escalates by one tier when you do not. Below are the tiers:
- Tier 1: -2 LP
- Tier 2: -3 LP
- Tier 3: -5 LP
- Tier 4: -6 LP
- Tier 5: -8 LP
As you can see, penalties for AFK and leaving are a lot more severe than queue dodging. In a way, Riot succeeds in their goal of removing the incentive to dodge in unfavorable matches without going overboard for players who don’t do it intentionally or do it only once in a blue moon.
For you to reach the higher tiers, well… there must be an underlying problem or a tendency towards toxic behavior, as that scale cannot be reached by simple mistakes. Do note, however, that the system is evolving, and that only time can truly tell us how effective these implementations are in the long-run. Hopefully this weeds out the bad eggs and gives us a cleaner environment in the future.