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League of Legends unavailable in Iran & Syria due to US sanctions

Published: 10:07, 24 June 2019
Splash art for Amumu, a sad champion in League of Legends
League of Legends - Amumu got a free revive out of nowhere

League of Legends players from Iran and Syria can't access the game anymore. This is apparently not Riot Games' decision, but rather a result of the US government's sanctions against the latter two governments due to increased tension.

US, Iranian and Syrian governments have less than an amicable relationship which resulted in a trade ban originating from USA, back in August 2019. It seems like this was just a minor step since the tensions are escalating now.

USA recently accused Iran of attacking an oil tanker and shooting down a military drone leading the American government to prevent US-based companies from doing any business with Iran or Syria.

This applied to Riot Games as well it seems since Iranian and Syrian players were met with a notification stating they can't access the game. It happened on 22 June 2019 and there are several players sharing their issues on the official forums with a few responses that offered workarounds and explanations.

TheDjinn this country ban was not Riot Games' decision and that they were required to comply with American government regulations. 

Other players suggested using VPN to circumvent this restriction but the players from the Middle East reported too much of a lag penalty as a result of using these. They are mostly reporting ping around 300 milliseconds which is way too much for a game like League of Legends where a fraction of a second can decide who wins a fight or even a match.

This situation proved once again that games as a service is a model that can sweep the rug under players' feet on a moment's notice. It's a remote kill switch shown in action, perhaps for the first time in video game history at this scale.

Riot Games Picture of Rengar, a high burst champion in League of Legends League of Legends - Rengar

Players in Iran and Syria lost all access to League of Legends, regardless of whether they spent money on it. There is currently no word on whether or how Riot could possibly compensate them for the loss.

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