OFF-META Punishable or NOT? "Answers", Straight from Riot Support (WiP)

So when this whole thing started blowing up in the forums about the nunu support player getting banned for "creating a negative environment for his team" etc etc... I sent in a support ticket with my post about how I like to play off-meta Soraka mid lane (original post found here: I just received a (few) replies today, and I figured many players here on _both sides of the argument_ would find it VERY enlightening as to what Riot (or at least this particular support specialist) believes. Here is that conversation, which is still currently ongoing: > ~~Name Redacted~~ (Riot Games Player Support) > Feb 28, 10:51 PST > > Hello there, > > My name is ~~Name Redacted~~ and I'm here to answer your concerns and help you in any way that I can. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter with me. > > League of Legends is a team game and we want to encourage players to cooperate with each others but also to challenge convention by unique picks. My recommendation right now is to find a good balance between these two things. Let your team know your goal and what you can offer by this pick. Convince them that what you pick actually works. That way, they don't go into the game with a negative mindset and everyone can cooperate well. > > We don't ban players for unique picks but cooperation and communication is an important part of the game so make sure you consider things from your team's perspective also. > > I hope that I was able to explain our approach toward this situation more clearly. Feel free to contact me if you have any additional concerns that I can address. > > ~~Name Redacted~~ > Riot Player Support > Player Behavior Specialist > Support Main **My response:** > Thanks ~~Name Redacted~~. So what do I do when I have someone say they don't want me to play "unconventional" and want to force me to play conventionally? Even after I explain my strategy? **Rioter's reply:** > Hello again, > > Ultimately, your team wants to win and if you try your best in the match playing this champion, regularly communicating and cooperating with your teammates you'll be fine. In the end, it's not about the picks but rather how well you play together. That said, your play style and ability to work together in the match will affect the perception of your teammates more rather than your pick. **My response:** > So if I am understanding you correctly, it's OK for me to pick the champion I want to play, regardless of the arguments of my teammates in the lobby, as long as I am playing to the best of my abilities with said champion (playing to win), fulfilling my selected role, and cooperating and communicating with them in-game? Also, is it necessary for me to use the in-game chat for communication in this kind of scenario, or am I free to /mute all and use only smart pings? **Rioter's Reply:** > Hello again, > > The situation is not black and white on that aspect. If your entire team is against it, then it's best to reconsider as four people are going into the game with a negative mindset. Every situation is different and compromising is the key. > > If you're muting your team, you're not trying to communicating with them. Usually, we're okay with utilizing the ping as the main mean for communication. However, with an unconventional pick, if you're not trying your best to communicate with them then that's not fair toward your team. **My response (currently pending reply):** > Ok... so what if 2 are OK with it, but 2 are not? Or only 1 is against it but no one else says anything against it? It's very confusing when you say that "compromise is the key", but fail to provide me with the right door in which to utilize that key. > > So then you're saying other players do get to decide if I can play a certain champion in a certain role -- or not -- depending on the majority ruling? Isn't that just another way of enforcing a specific style of meta-game on players? > > If that is the case, then does that not give me permission to contradict other players from playing specific champions that _I'm not comfortable with_, because it might go against the team cohesion? Should I then report these players for failing to listen to my(or my teams') demands that they play X champion instead of Y champion? > > According to Riot's own rules found here: > > > > and here: > > > > "Viable tactical disagreements" are not reportable (hence not punishable), as well as "NOT Sticking to the meta-game" is also not reportable (hence not punishable). > > Isn't my decision to select an off-meta champion for my selected role (such as Soraka mid lane), considered a "tactical decision" on my part (since I believe it to be viable and works), and therefore no one on my team should be able to report me or grief against me on that pick? > > Additionally, if I do communicate with other players during the lobby and inform them what I am picking and doing and it is "off-meta", considering the above rules as stated by Riot, would it not be my teammates who are in fact causing a negative environment, should they decide to grief and/or force me to play to their standards of the game? > > One more thing, according to the line under the support topic here: > > It clearly states "Players are never banned for not communicating through chat in-game. In fact, a large portion of games are completed with very few words being said at all. If you feel you need to communicate to your team, then you should use Smart Pings." > > So according to you ("However, with an unconventional pick, if you're not trying your best to communicate with them then that's not fair toward your team."), am I to take it to mean that I can never be banned for not communicating through chat in-game... unless I'm playing something off-meta? Or does the statement on Riot's support page apply across the board, regardless of meta? > > My apologies if I am throwing a lot of questions at you, but each response seems to be more and more obtuse, and I am failing to comprehend the correct course of action in order to be able to safely play League of Legends in a way that both I and my team can enjoy, without jeopardizing my account. **Riot's Reply (LATEST MESSAGE 3/1/2017)** > Hello again, > > I must reiterate that there are no set rule or number work here. The use of common sense and continuous cooperation with your team is what would provide you with the best experience playing off-meta. I also want to stress that cooperating doesn't mean only telling your team what to do and holding them hostage to the match but rather to work together with them toward a common objective/goal. > > If you're worry about your own account, please provide me with the account information and I'd be happy to review it for you.
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