Riot Games has recently overhauled its Esports Global Code of Conduct in anticipation of the 2024 esports season.
The new code of conduct is directed at every individual involved in Riot’s esports competitions, including players, coaches, trainers, team managers, and team owners. The comprehensive document is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, and aims to create a secure and reliable esports environment while simplifying existing rules and practices across all global leagues.
Riot wants to protect the integrity of the esports ecosystem with new rules of conduct
Recognizing the collaborative nature of the esports ecosystem, Riot acknowledges that few individuals can largely and adversely impact the entire community. The new code of conduct is designed to address issues and behaviors that could compromise the integrity and enjoyment of esports for all players and fans alike.
The document includes stringent regulations on harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, abuse, threats, bribery, match-fixing or manipulation, gambling, retaliation, and more. It also introduces a stringent participation commitment ensuring individuals “registered for or agreeing to partake in” a Riot’s esports event cannot withdraw or decline participation “without the approval of a tournament official.” This measure is likely implemented to avoid possible situations similar to the LCS walkout earlier this year.
Esports professionals are duty-bound to promptly report any violations they become aware of, with specific reporting mechanisms in place during competitions, according to the document. However, there are time limitations for reporting certain offenses. For example, investigations will not be conducted for violations involving, for instance, match-fixing or sexual harassment if more than six years have passed from the date of the alleged conduct to the discovery of said violation.
As before, code violations may lead to disciplinary measures such as warnings, fines, prize or game forfeiture, and suspensions. However, professionals who dissent from any rule of the code of conduct have the option to withdraw from Riot’s esports competitions, and in that case, the document will have no impact on those individuals, allowing them the freedom to make decisions aligned with their personal values.
Some noteworthy additions to the code include regulations on substance use, mandating esports pros may only use “prescription drugs” as directed by “qualified medical professionals and in the manner, combination, and quantity as prescribed.” Another addition pertains to Fantasy Esports, with esports professionals barred from participating in contests that offer “real-world rewards” based on the performance of esports participants, along with a prohibition on ownership in entities engaging in fantasy contests for esports competitions.
In summary, Riot’s new Esports Global Code of Conduct is a comprehensive document that aims to create a secure and reliable esports environment while simplifying existing rules and practices across all global leagues. The document addresses various issues and behaviors that could compromise the integrity and enjoyment of esports for all players and fans alike.