Few games are as successful as League of Legends - the Massive Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game, in which you (with a team of 2-4 other people) attempt to destroy the enemy team's base. With nearly 30 million players logging into the game every day, you'll never find yourself wishing there was someone to play with. You may, however, wish that there was less toxicity in the community you're playing with. Play for long enough, and you'll be sure to find some insults thrown at you. Whether it's childish banter, bragging, or empty threats, it's not unlikely that you'll hear enough and will find the game less enjoyable.
Although League features a fair amount of toxicity, Riot does try to keep it at a minimum. Players are encouraged to flag toxic players, and every once in a while, Riot will even reward the well behaved players with in-game items. Riot has proven multiple times that they care about maintaining a positive and lighthearted community - even praising individuals for constantly saying "Good luck, have fun." or "Good game."
That all said, it would seem that not all Riot employees are as uplifting as previously shown examples would lead you to believe. Don't get me wrong - Riot is still reported to be one of the best places to work! But as Riot looked at the past 12 months of their employee's gameplay, they noticed a connection between in-game and in-office toxicity.
Riot Identified the 30 Most Toxic Employees
A couple of the most problematic behaviors found were passive aggression, and the use of authoritative language. Some employees would even use their authority as a Riot employee to intimidate other players - NOT cool! Although some of this behavior would fluctuate between people (we all have our bad days, right?), Riot was able to weed out the 30 most toxic employees (all of whom were new to the working world) and divided them into two separate categories:
- Group A: Will receive a strict warning.
- Group B: Will be asked to leave Riot, due to unusually toxic behavior.
From here, Riot's Talent team scheduled meetings with the selected few to discuss their in-game behavior. The team brought the employee's in-game chat logs, which highlighted the most shocking behavior. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
“Pretty much everyone we spoke with was appalled at their own behavior. We actually received some essays from employees vowing to change their ways and become not just more considerate gamers but better people." Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar, Riot’s head of Talent
This Changes How Riot Will Hire Moving Forward
Riot will now use this in-game information as a signal during the hiring process - asking for the applicant's in-game handle so that they can review their communication and overall behavior. Each applicant will be color coded to show, at a glance, how kind the applicant is to other players and teammates.
It certainly feels like Riot is taking a huge step in the right direction. We can only hope that other companies with competitive games will follow suit, to help improve their online communities and in-house atmosphere.