Riot Games announced a new change in League of Legends that could drastically cut back on verbal abuse: The removal of the /all chat feature. The plan is to remove /all chat from all matchmade queues for a while starting in Patch 11.21 with the feature being kept out of the game for several patches afterwards. Riot said other communication methods including normal team chat will remain untouched while /all chat is disabled.
For those who don't keep this enabled or haven't used it in a while, this is the feature that allows opposing teams to talk to one another. While it does have its positive uses such as complimenting an opponent's skin or champion mastery or to react to a specific moment, it's used far more often to trash talk with opponents. The singular question mark message is a staple of /all chat, and people often use it to ask opponents to report someone on their team. In short, it's used for negative reasons far more often than positive ones.
Riot did acknowledge these positives in its post about removing /all chat and said it'll measure the impact of this change to see what the future holds for the chat feature.
"While /all chat can be the source of fun social interaction between teams, as well as some good-hearted banter, right now negative interactions outweigh the positives," the post from Riot said. "We'll evaluate the impact of this change through verbal abuse reports and penalty rates, as well as surveys and direct feedback from you all."
The chats within the client at the end of the game will remain intact, so if you've got something you want to say to the enemy team, you'll still be able to do so later so long as you hold onto that thought until the match concludes.
Andrei "Riot Meddler" van Roon, the game director for League of Legends, shared a few more details about the matter on Twitter including some of the possible outcomes of this test. The /all chat feature could be keeping this change which would remove the chat entirely, reverting the change to have it enabled again, or working on a case-by-case basis based on the results seen in regions and matchmaking queues.
"We know this sucks for those of you who just want to compliment your lane opponent's skin, or ask for a dance party in Baron pit," Riot said. "But we believe the tradeoff is worth it to cut down on the growing negativity /all chat has been creating in your games."