League of Legends developer Riot Games has released a video calling on players to employ sportsmanlike behaviour - and released statistics to show it's in their best interest.
The free-to-play MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), which pits two teams of five players head-to-head in competitive multiplayer matches, is often criticised for the behaviour of its gargantuan player base, despite Riot's best efforts to improve the situation.
Now, in a new video, Riot makes the case for teamwork using statistics that show, somewhat unsurprisingly, that positive behaviour usually results in more wins.
According to Riot, sportsmanlike players win over 1.7 million more games than average players every day. "What some players fail to understand is epic comebacks don't come from berating your teammates," Riot said. "Rage doesn't win games."
Each negative player on a team, to use Riot's description, decreases your chances of winning, from a 54 per cent average win rate with "zero ragers", down to a 46 per cent win rate with three. "And it keeps getting worse from there," Riot said. "So it makes more sense to focus on winning. Keep tempers from flaring in chat."
Riot said its early findings suggest there's a direct correlation between a team's behaviour and the gold they're capable of earning in a match. So, positive behaviour and teamwork usually result in more virtual gold, which can be used to buy powerful items.
On an individual level, the statistics show the benefit of teamplay, too. Players with a record of positive behaviour win 10 per cent more games than the Average Joe, Riot said. On the other hand, a player with a report history will on average go on to win 35 per cent fewer games.
"It's pretty clear," Riot said.
The reaction to the video has been mixed. YouTube user "Cha0s" wrote: "It's sad that we need a video to remind people this game is all about teamwork, yet am glad Riot spends time to inspire players like this. THANK YOU."
"T367" said teamwork is often easier said than done: "It's hard to be sportsman like when everyone on this game is... how do I put it... an asshole? I always start out a game trying to be nice as possible and then just end up either muting everyone by the end or just giving up cause people only want to argue. Half the time you're being insulted and then expected to assist this person who treats you like trash. Kinda hard to make yourself a good player under certain circumstances."
Riot employs the Tribunal System to help moderate League of Legends' community. The Tribunal identifies players who have been consistently reported by the community over a large number of games and builds a Tribunal case for them. These cases are presented to random community members who use the Tribunal who then review the case files and render a judgment-pardon or punish. Player Support then uses this information to help assign the right penalties to the right players.