Do Eternals make League of Legends a pay-to-win game?

The Eternals progress tab may give players who pay an unfair advantage.

Image via Riot Games

League of Legends Eternals are the new hot topic in the MOBA’s community. One player argues, however, that the feature will give players an unfair advantage.

A League fan shared their thoughts in a Reddit post yesterday, claiming that the Eternals’ stat tracker will allow players to scout the Fog of War and see if enemies are hiding in a bush. This will grant players who pay immediate information that players who don’t pay aren’t privy to.

So what are Eternals and how might they affect the state of the game?

What are Eternals?

Eternals are a new cosmetic that will allow players to show off their accomplishments in-game on a per-champion basis. Essentially, players can hit statistical checkpoints for the characters that they main.

“Track your per-game personal bests and rack up lifetime milestones for things like hooks hit, dunks dunked, and more,” Riot employee Shio “Tummers” Shoujo said in a FAQ for Eternals.

Other features include new flairs for Mastery emotes, a list of Eternals on the back of your champion’s loading screen card, and a showcase on your enemies’ death screen after they’re killed by you.

Eternals will only be available to players who purchase them with Riot Points (RP), coming in two set types: Common for 225 RP or Unique for 590 RP.

How do Eternals make League a pay-to-win game?

A Reddit user argues that the Eternals system provides a “tangible advantage” to players who purchase them.

“While Eternals are intended as primarily a cosmetic system, their stats update in real-time in the Eternals tab in-game, and the advantages of being able to have an eye on that are (imo) more than just tangible and thus a problem,” the fan said.

The Reddit user claims that the in-game tab informs players whenever they deal damage. So if a Lux uses her Q in a shrub, for example, she would normally have no indicator if the spell hit or not. With the Eternals tab, however, she would see her damage increase and gain tangible knowledge that a player without an Eternal wouldn’t have access to.

How can Riot solve this pay-to-win issue?

Despite the Eternals tab providing an edge to players who pay for the feature, there are some solutions Riot can implement that easily eliminate the problem.

The Reddit user offers ways to fix what can potentially be a problematic cosmetic. One solution is to make the Eternals tab available to all players, not just those who pay. This would give everyone the same advantage. Or Riot can do the opposite and delete the tab completely.

Some other solutions include making the progress tab unavailable during combat or just give some Eternals out for free.

Riot hasn’t addressed this potential pay-to-win feature, but Eternals are scheduled to be released sometime in the near future.

Update Sept. 9 7:45pm CT: Product Lead on Eternals Ken Adams addressed the Fog of War issue in a statement with Dot Esports. “Just wanted to clarify that we have acknowledged the exploit that lets you gain info in Fog of War and will be addressing for launch. Not intentional,” he said.