To all the League of Legends players crazy enough to actually believe that the Tribunal would someday return, we have some bad news for you. It’s almost definitely not, according to Riot’s announcement today. Sorry about that.
We could end the article there, because this incredibly outdated method of punishing players should just stay dead, but since we’re nice, we’ll explain Riot’s reasoning.
There are two big reasons why the Tribunal is going to remain decommissioned for the foreseeable future. It’s extremely slow, which is probably the most obvious reason. Right now, we have an automated system that roots out hate speech and inflammatory chat messages and punishes players over a very short amount of time. As we’re sure you can imagine, it takes considerably longer to rally up a full Tribunal of voting players to then cast their votes on a particular issue after reading through chat logs themselves. With tens of millions of players and one of the most infamously-toxic player bases on the market, the quicker solution is clearly the more effective one.
The second reason isn’t quite as clear-cut as the first, but it’s still true nonetheless. When players could band together and get a player punished they could be rewarded with IP for a time, which, naturally, created an undeniable bias. Riot’s announcement didn’t clarify the specific type of bias, but we don’t think it necessarily had to. If players have the chance to be paid to punish someone, the shadier individuals would at least sometimes probably just vote guilty, regardless of the situation.
Rather than just say “No, the Tribunal is dead and we should leave it that way,” Riot did go on to address a sort of compromise to the players who miss it. More specifically, there were things that the Tribunal offered that the current automated system has trouble with, such as finding trolls and intentional feeders, as well as giving players a sense of agency and pride by having an impact on unsportsmanlike attitudes throughout the game. Both of those things are important, so Riot will be experimenting with ways to improve the current system to bridge that gap in the future.
For now, though, just keep hitting that report button and hoping for the best, because at least it’s better than the alternative.