'Queue lockouts' are Riot's newest way of punishing League of Legends AFKers
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On Sept. 17, Riot Games’ Behavioral Systems Team for League of Legends unveiled queue lockouts, the newest method for tackling leavers and other similar behaviors in the game.

“We’re making some changes to how we handle AFKs in League of Legends,” tweeted League of Legends competitive initiative design lead Jordan Checkman.

Riot introduces queue lockouts to League of Legends

Queue lockouts are a new type of penalty meant to deal with those who’ve yet to learn their lesson after multiple queue delays, which are the dodge timers most people are used to seeing. The goal of this new mechanic is to add extra tiers to the existing penalty structure to punish repeat-offenders, add methods to protect players from said repeat-offenders and generally improve the way reformation is evaluated in Riot titles.

Lockouts will serve extreme dodge timers built with the goal of encouraging players to actually change their behavior by temporarily removing their ability to enter MOBA queues at all. After a lockout expires, serious offenders will also have a set queue penalty that lasts five games; this way, players can’t simply wait out an entire punishment.

Previously, leavers have been broken into three separate tiers to calculate queue delays: Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. The queue lockout system introduces seven total tiers. Players currently at a very high tier will be lowered to Tier 3 before the new system rolls out to give them a chance to reform. The new tiers, and their penalties, are as follows:

  • Tier 0 (non-offenders): no queue l0ckout; no queue delay.
  • Tier 1: no queue lockout; five-minute queue delay for five games.
  • Tier 2: no queue lockout; 10-minute queue delay for five games.
  • Tier 3: no queue lockout; 15-minute queue delay for five games.
  • Tier 4 (new): one-day queue lockout followed by a 15-minute queue delay for five games.
  • Tier 5 (new): three-day queue lockout followed by a 15-minute queue delay for five games.
  • Tier 6 (new): seven-day queue lockout followed by a 15-minute queue delay for five games.
  • Tier 7 (new): 14-day queue lockout followed by a 15-minute queue delay for five games.

While no specific release date was mentioned, Riot explained that the new queue lockout system rollout will begin with sparse regional testing and eventually release on a global scales. Further updates are set to be published in future patch notes.

Riot also listed other game-related points of contention currently being monitored for improvements including comeback mechanics, dealing with in-game toxicity and connection issues. More info will be shared on these issues in future updates.

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