League devs to crack down on “soft inting” with permanent hardware bans

Declan Mclaughlin
Hecarim nerfs planned for LoL patch 11.9 as jungler hits 70% ban rate.

A Riot Games developer has announced that hardware bans are on the table for players who throw games.

Pu Liu, the Game Director for League, announced on social media on July 8 that Riot is “looking into increased detection of and punishment for soft inting, which is a large problem in the game.”

Soft inting is the practice of intentionally making bad plays during a match, but not throwing away the game so obviously as to be flagged for bannable offences like trolling, or assisting the enemy team.

Liu further explained that thanks to Vanguard’s implementation Riot can now give out hardware bans, meaning a player’s computer and not just their accounts are suspended, quickly and easily.

Liu then decided to poll the League of Legends public for their thoughts on how fast Riot should ramp up to hardware bans for players who soft int.

Multiple high-profile community members answered the call, with many leaning towards a lenient approach.

“I’d lean on lenience tbh, hardware ban seems only really necessary for repeat offenders. I feel like Riot can get a lot more creative with punishments before resulting in a hardware ban, like you can just queue ban them from everything except bots,” popular League account Spideraxe said on social media.

Others were worried that Riot would start hardware banning people for just having a bad game, and not intentionally throwing away matches to troll their teammates.

“I see potential problems with a separation between soft inting and someone genuinely having a bad game. Leniency would make more sense at first, maybe the system could take in more data (how new the player is for instance) into account before punishment,” streamer Netherim said.

Players leaned more toward an immediate hardware ban over on the game’s subreddit and pushed for even more extreme punishments.

“I would go with immediately and the other bigger thing that needs to be done is if someone is doing it on their smurfs punish their main accounts as well,” one Reddit user said.

Liu has yet to respond publicly to any of the community’s suggestions so players will have to wait and see how fast Riot will go from account suspension to a hardware ban.

Riot has been vocal about dealing with problematic and toxic players across its major titles and has taken a hard stance against harassment in Valorant and cheating in League. This new vigor around soft inting is another chapter in the developer’s quest to create a better game experience for its player base.

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