League of Legends esports head comments on censorship allegations
John Needham, the head of the eSports League of Legends, has released an official statement in response to allegations of censorship on the 2019 World Championship broadcasts. He noted that Riot Games is trying to exclude any discussions on political and other similar topics, so as not to affect the current conflicts in the world.
“During the broadcasts, we try to focus exclusively on matches, competitions and players. Our team works for a lot of people from different countries, so we are sure that we must keep our views on difficult topics (political, religious and others). Often there are a lot of nuances in such matters, therefore only knowledgeable and able to listen people can discuss them. It is impossible to fully cover such topics on our broadcasts, so we asked the casters and players not to talk about them during the broadcast.
Our decision is also due to the fact that some Riot employees and League of Legends fans live in regions where political and social unrest is occurring, including Hong Kong. We believe that we must do everything possible so that no statements and actions on our platforms lead to the development of conflicts. ”
Earlier, League of Legends fans accused Riot Games of having forbidden the casters to pronounce the full name of the Hong Kong Attitude team on the stream, and also broadcast live interviews with the band’s players. We described the situation in more detail here, and the response of the company representatives can be found here.
On October 8, Blizzard disqualified a Hearthstone tournament participant who supported protests against the Hong Kong Extradition Act. After that, the developer was criticized by the community, and some Blizzard employees accused the company of violating their own values and held a protest outside the main office.