League of Legends now blocks players deemed to have displayed toxic behaviour from ranked matches.
In a post on the League of Legends forum, developer Riot outlined Ranked Restrictions, which restricts the in-game chat of "negative" players and prevents them from joining ranked queues until they've completed a set number of games in Normal Draft mode.
The feature is being rolled out to live servers in North America and Europe now, with a view to adding more regions over time.
League of Legends is a hugely successful multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA) which sees two teams of five players go head to head in competitive matches.
It's one of the great video game success stories of recent years, but that success has come alongside a community with a reputation for toxic behaviour. Riot has done much work over the last year to improve the situation, including creating videos encouraging players to go easy on those they feel aren't playing well. And now, there is yet another reason for players to behave themselves.
Riot pointed out that Ranked Restricted players are also Chat Restricted in other queues, and should still be reported if they continue to display negative behaviours while playing through their restrictions.
"As with Chat Restrictions, after they finish the predetermined number of games, we'll perform a final evaluation to make sure they've actually improved their in-game behaviour," Riot said.
"Players who haven't shown improvement will continue to be restricted from playing ranked."
There's more: the most negative players who are Ranked Restricted at the end of the season will be ineligible to earn ranked end of season rewards, which include loading screen borders and skins.
"While the majority of players will not be affected by this ruling, we wanted to message it well in advance so that players concerned about their behaviour have more than enough time to adjust and reform before the end of the season," Riot said.
The reaction to the news from the League of Legends community has been mixed. While many have praised Riot for its commitment to tackling bad behaviour in the game, some are worried about the impact of the change.
One player, "computo2000", expressed concern that Normal Draft mode will turn into a "prisoners island for offensive people", and those who wish to play in a more relaxing setting will suffer as a result.