Riot Games will disable "all chat" in League of Legends matchmade queues starting with Patch 11.21, the developer announced Tuesday.
The move comes as part of Riot's attempts to improve in-game behavior and player experiences, and although much of that effort has focused on gameplay-based behavior, Riot wanted to address what players have described as a growing issue of verbal abuse.
"While /all chat can be the source of fun social interaction between teams, as well as some good-hearted banter, right now negative interactions outweigh the positives," wrote game director Andrei "Meddler" van Roon and director of the production for gameplay Jeremy "Brightmoon" Lee in a blog post explaining the decision. "We'll evaluate the impact of this change through verbal abuse reports and penalty rates, as well as surveys and direct feedback from you all."
Players will still be able to see and hear emotes, champ mastery, and CTRL+1/2/3/4 spam across team lines. End-of-game chat will also remain cross-team.
Although Riot Games acknowledges that abuse takes place in team chat as well, the developer opted not to disable it, as "team chat also plays an important team coordination function, so that potential value it brings is much higher, even if it can also host some negative experiences."
On Twitter, van Roon said Riot would test this change for "a couple of patches, then survey player opinion." Based on the results of that survey, Riot could revert the change globally, or in select regions that found it to negatively impact their experiences, or change to which queues it applies.
League of Legends Patch 11.21 will bring this change to live servers Wednesday, Oct. 20.