Until now, Riot has dealt with every high-profile infraction of League of Legends (opens in new tab)' rules case by case, but such room for interpretation doesn't befit a game that aspires to be an international sport. Now the devs are imposing two penalty indices and a penalty tracker to standardise punishments for rule breakers.
There are far too many scenarios and accompanying punishments to list, but they fall into two broad camps: the League of Legends Champion Series pentalty index and the global penalty index.
The LCS index (opens in new tab) is for minor slip-ups that warrant a suspension of under three months—things like "unauthorized communication during a pause", which earns anything from a slapped wrist to a forfeit, or "signing a starter after the relevant roster declaration deadline", with fines starting from $1,000.
The global index (opens in new tab) is for when you've really messed up, including offences like "extreme misconduct" and "cheating in professional play". Unsurprisingly, there are lifetime bans involved.
There's a ring of the NFL's strict financial deterrents about the system, but Riot is keen to stress that it's not about to start fining players for the fun of it.
"To be clear, our intent in streamlining our disciplinary process isn’t to penalize more frequently," the announcement (opens in new tab) reads. "Instead, we hope that clearer communication about league discipline sets expectations, disincentivizes misconduct, and educates teams and players."
To that end, the penalty tracker will enable any member of the public to see exactly what fines and punishments have been levied by Riot at any point, so we'll quickly spot any instances of "Fined: $100k. Offense: Looked at me funny."
Embracing the bureaucracy (opens in new tab) that accompanies running a sport, Riot has also put competitors one step closer to a players' union (opens in new tab). The LCS Pro Player Panel, made up of a delegate from each big-time team, is to be invited to meet Riot more often to discuss concerns and improve communication between players and devs.
It's hard to spin rule-setting and committee meetings into glitzy news, but these sort of standards will be vital as the money and public interest in League continues of swell.