League of Legends is losing cross-team chat, at least temporarily. Riot is removing the popular all chat feature (also called /all chat) in League’s next patch in hopes of combatting toxicity, the developer announced on Tuesday. The feature will remain disabled for a few patches while Riot tests player responses to its removal.
The League of Legends developer said that all chat is a vehicle for toxic behavior and that it hopes disabling it completely will result in less bad behavior, according to the Riot’s blog post on the change. All chat is turned off by default in League of Legends already, but the new change turns it off for all players — even ones who originally opted in.
All chat is the primary way to interact with enemy teams in League of Legends, outside of gameplay. Teams can interact indirectly, however, using emotes, which are still available in-game.
Reaction to all chat’s removal has been largely negative, with players mentioning all of the weird, positive, and fun bonding experiences they’ve had there with the enemy team. Players are also memorializing phrases like “glhf” (good luck, have fun) and “gg” (good game), which will become useless in League of Legends due to this change.
Riot also said that team chat is a toxic aspect of League of Legends — a lot of players wrote in response to the all chat removal that they find team communications to be worse than all chat. However, Riot said team chat will remain on for team communication and coordination.
Shortly after the announcement and its resoundingly negative response, League of Legends game director Andrei van Roon, the original posts’ author, took to Twitter to clarify a couple of points that the original post didn’t address.
In his tweet, van Roon explains that the change will be implemented for a few patches as a test, then Riot will send out surveys to see how it went. The developer will then determine its next move, which could include disabling the feature, bringing it back unchanged, or even a unique solution for each region — depending on the survey response.
This change is set to go live, at least initially, with League of Legends patch 11.21, scheduled for sometime next week.