League of Legends Clubs are coming to an end later in the year with the entire Clubs system being retired, Riot Games announced this week. The Clubs system allowed players to communicate in large groups united under banners displayed in-game as the Club tags following players’ names. Riot Games explained its decision to shut down the Clubs in a post on the League site along with a timeframe for when the feature will be removed and a preview of what the future holds for Clubs-like systems.
Explaining the reasoning behind shutting down clubs, Riot Karadwe said other community features provided by companies like Discord have outpaced Clubs to the point that Riot acknowledged it would never “create a community tool that beats out the industry leaders.” There were also technical constraints to consider as League grew and the systems used to prop up Clubs in the beginning were outpaced by the changes.
The Clubs system began to degrade as things around it changed and components used to build it lost support which meant the system needed rebuilding. When faced with the question of whether rebuilding the feature would be worth it or not, Riot said its efforts would best be spent elsewhere.
“Given that a rebuild would be necessary, we had to stop and ask ourselves - Is rebuilding Clubs the best place to focus our efforts?” Riot Karadwe said. “What would players get the most value from? Are social systems an area that we think we can provide a best-in-class experience? Based on the current level of innovation happening in community management tools, it's clear that this is not the place for us to focus our efforts in order to have the biggest impact on players.”
Even though Clubs are being shut down, Riot said it’s partnering with Discord to transition players away from the feature while still staying connected to their communities.
“We’re partnering with Discord to help ease the transition away from Clubs for players who want to keep their communities together,” Riot Karadwe said. “We’ll have more to share in the coming months before we officially shut off Clubs, but our goal is to make it super easy for you to create a Discord server, share it with your Club-mates and continue playing League together without a hitch.”
The current plan is to have Clubs fully retired during the next preseason period which will come at the end of the year.