Riot sues League of Legends botting service "LeagueSharp"

LeagueSharp, as it is described on Facebook and Twitter, “is a tool for League of Legends which allows the user to inject assemblies or so called LoL scripts into the game.” The LeagueSharp blog is a bit clearer on what that means: “Such things as SBTW 'Space bar to win' which will carry out lightning fast perfect combos in a fraction of a second much faster then normally humanly possible,” it says. “It also provides you with a plethora of other scripts that offer insane amounts of utility such as jungle timers, auto last hitting, awareness and various other exploits.” Cheating, in other words—open, obvious, and unabashed. 

The service isn't free. The LeagueSharp store offers a limited subscription for $15 per month, which is capped at 50 games per day, and an unlimited license for $50 per month that “is worthwhile for people who are botting a large amount of accounts and require more than our 50 game limit.” It sounds utterly outrageous that someone would pay for a cheat service—except, as Riot claims in the lawsuit against the makers of the software that it filed earlier this month, people using it are actually making money on it themselves. 

“The botting service is designed for those users that wish to make money by creating and selling accounts that have been artificially leveled,” the complaint says. “Riot is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that tens of thousand of people currently subscribe to L#, and that Defendants generate hundreds of thousands of dollars each month in connection with L#.” 

The suits says it is “absolutely imperative” to the future of LoL, and Riot itself, that the game is “a fair, competitive, and enjoyable environment that rewards its players' skill and experience.” LeagueSharp represents an “enormous threat” to that, through conduct that is “willful, deliberate, and malicious,” and purposely intended to harm Riot and its community. To back up that last, very important point in the suit, it notes that LeagueSharp advertising promises that the service is, among other things, “gamebreaking.” 

On a more personally appalling level, Riot also claims that its efforts to resolve the matter informally, before filing the suit, were met with a rather shocking response. “Defendants refused to respond. Then, Defendants or those working in concert with them disseminated personal and non-public information about a Riot employee, threatened that employee, and posted offensive comments on the employee's social media,” the suit states. “Additionally, knowing that this lawsuit was imminent, Defendants have been quickly and carefully destroying or concealing evidence such as their most incriminating online posts and purporting to hide behind a Peruvian shell corporation created solely for the purpose of evading liability.” 

I'm not a lawyer, but my feeling is that probably wasn't the smartest thing to do here. Riot is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions against LeagueSharp, a shutdown of all its services, a full accounting of the sales of LeagueSharp products and services, and financial damages and legal costs. I've reached out to LeagueSharp for more information, and will update if and when I receive a reply. 

Thanks, Kotaku.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.