Even though League of Legends isn’t my MOBA of choice, I still have a massive respect for its developers, Riot Games. It’s because I like how they show love to their community; whether it be frequent updates in the form of balance changes and brand new heroes, or providing new ways to play their game. Today, they’re giving back to the community in a different way – by means of a large donation to charity.
This money was sourced not from their own pockets, but rather from a pool of fines collected from the 2014 League Championship Series. In the donation announcement, Riot stated that their intention was never to collect large sums of money from the pro players. All they want is for the rules to enforce, in their own words, “respect, fairness, and competitive integrity.”
Rather than pocketing the money for themselves, Riot were clear from the get-go and stated that any fines they collected would go straight to charity. They’ve now chosen who will receive all the fines from the 2014 LCS – a sum total of $31,850:
We decided to donate the 2014 LCS fines of $31,850 to The Trevor Project – an organization which provides free, confidential and secure crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. We loved the organization’s approach to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone through suicide-prevention phone, IM and text messaging services as well as TrevorSpace, the largest social networking community for LGBTQ youth all over the world. We support their commitment to stamping out bullying and discrimination wherever it comes up, and we admire their transparency as an organization.
Suicide prevention and homophobia is something that the LoL community feels strongly about too. When we looked at in-game reports, we found that games that included the word ‘faggot’ in their chat log received 165.84% more reports than games that included the word ‘fuck’. Likewise, you were swift to punish players who encouraged others towards suicide in the heat of the moment – games that included ‘kill yourself’ in their chat logs received 225.65% more reports than games that included the word ‘fuck’.
As a community, you find these words hurtful and unacceptable and so do we. We know that harassment and its consequences goes beyond just words in a game – and that’s why the work of organizations like The Trevor Project is so important. We hope that this money will be able to boost their work creating a safe and inclusive environment for all of us, regardless of sexual orientation.
Many will scoff, stating that Riot donated money that doesn’t really belong to them and that they did it for the publicity and good PR. I personally don’t see it that way at all. If they really wanted, they could’ve kept the cash for themselves.
They didn’t, and they’ve been upfront and transparent about the whole thing right from the beginning. Good on Riot, really. My respect levels have gone up further!
Last Updated: June 15, 2015