"League of Legends" is one of the most popular online multiplayer games in the world and has developed an immensely diverse community. While there are many positive aspects of having a large and diverse following, the truth is that the Toxicity in "League of Legends" is a big problem for players.

What can cause toxicity?

Many players don't realize that toxic behavior in a game of "League of Legends" can bleed into their offline lives. There have been many studies on the effects of violence and aggression depicted in entertainment. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, one of the most influential studies on aggression in media was done by Albert Bandura.

In Bandura's study, children were exposed to aggressive behavior in the form of video tapes. As a result, the children engaged in physical and verbal abuse that was directed at their toys. Those effects were observed without the anonymity provided by a game like "League of Legends." The New Yorker reported in 2013 that anonymity of online interactions, like playing "League of Legends", was shown to increase online aggression. Combining learned behavior and the negative effects of online anonymity can result in the toxicity observed in the "League of Legends" community.

Why is controlling toxicity important?

As a competitive game, "League of Legends" is bound to have players making derogatory comments to their teammates and enemies.

However, when commentary becomes openly aggressive or harmful it can have negative consequences on the individual matches and players. Riot games has commented multiple times about player behavior, but the most significant statistic comes from comments made to Michael McWhertor of Polygon in 2012. McWhertor reported that before Riot Games implemented toxicity controlling measures, more than three-quarters of the player base engaged in negative behavior.

After introducing methods of reducing negative behavior, two-thirds of the toxicity was eliminated.

According to the American Psychological Association, exhibiting aggressive behavior inside video games can cause an individual to become less empathetic and express more aggressive behavior outside the video game. This is especially important for "League of Legends." Since its player base is large, initiatives taken by Riot Games that discourage toxic behavior can potentially affect the actions of many people. The newest system created to combat negative behavior rewards players who have a positive impact on the game, while punishing those who exhibit toxicity.