League of Legends Uighur chat ban found to be an error

Recent events surrounding Blizzard have put people in the gaming community on edge when it comes to the topic of the Chinese government. Now, another company, Riot Games, has come under scrutiny after fans found out that the name of the Uighur ethnic group was banned in League of Legends‘ chat. As such, the studio has now stated that this ban was a mistake.

An ethnic group hailing from Central Asia, the Uighurs now mostly reside within the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China. The latter however has been accused of imposing a police state on the group, and has detained over a million of them in “re-education camps.” With this in mind, players on the game’s subreddit were alarmed when they discovered that the ethnic group’s name was banned from being mentioned in League of Legends‘ in-game chat.

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In response to this, Communications Lead for League of Legends Ryan Rigney stated both on Reddit and on Twitter that the word was banned in error. “Sometimes our system bans really weird words for no reason,” said Rigney on the game’s subreddit. “That said, it would be complete bullshit to intentionally ban the name of any ethnic group. Will update when I find out more.”

League of Legends Uyghur chat ban found to be in error

Rigney later confirmed in a follow up tweet that the word was no longer banned in the game for all regions. More importantly, he also confirmed that the studio would be coordinating with its global teams to review and update the list of banned words.

Game companies seemingly pandering to China and its government has been a hot issue as of late following Blizzard banning pro Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai for pro-Hong Kong statements he made during a tournament stream. Gamers reacted negatively to that ban, resulting in boycotts and refunds of said game and other Blizzard properities. Perhaps, Riot simply wants to avoid similar issues from haunting its own games, especially considering that the studio is owned by Chinese giant Tencent Holdings.