League of Legends has been blocked in Iran and Syria, with players from those countries being told the restrictions are due to "US laws and regulations".
The backdrop for the ban is growing tensions between Iran and the US, which has led President Donald Trump to impose "major" additional sanctions on the country over the past few days. Syria is a key ally of Iran.
League of Legends developer Riot Games is based in the US.
Players trying to log on from Iran or Syria are receiving the following message, as shared by an Iranian player on the game's official forums: "Due to US laws and regulations, players in your country cannot access League of Legends at this time. Such restrictions are subject to change by the US government, so if and when that happens, we will look forward to having you back on the rift."
From browsing the forums and Reddit, it seems like Iran and Syria are the only two countries affected for now. Naturally, players have been using VPNs to get around the ban, but that means they'll be playing with a ping that's much higher than usual.
Riot has not yet put out a statement on the matter. The move isn't wholly unprecedented: Origin is not available in Syria or Iran due to "US embargoes and sanction laws", while the Epic Games website says its store is available everywhere "except where prohibited by US law, such as North Korea and Iran".
Thanks, Dot Esports.