Instead of permanently banning players _for chat based offenses_, provide a "Chat Freedom" option for full premade teams and allow players who would be permanently banned to only queue up with full premade teams.
This would allow access to the following queues:
Summoner's Rift - Blind Pick
Summoner's Rift - Draft Pick
Summoner's Rift - Ranked Flex
Twisted Treeline - Blind Pick
Twisted Treeline - Ranked Flex
Notably, it will NOT be available for Ranked Solo Queue (Obviously).
Prior to entering the queue, each player on the premade team should receiving a warning along the lines of:
"(Player) is on restricted access due to poor behavior. Reports of chat based offenses made on any of the players on this premade team will not be considered. In addition, All-Chat will be disabled for the duration of the game. Do you wish to continue?"
As stated in the warning, players on such teams will not be able to report any players on their team for any reason. They opt into this by electing to play with the individual(s) in question.
In addition, include a feature similar to the old teambuilder that performs a "Looking for Game" function, with an option to allow restricted players on the team. This teambuilder will NOT take into account MMR, and will simply group players looking for a full premade together. They will then enter the queue exactly as a normal premade would.
**Why it could work:**
1. Players who would otherwise be unable to play on their accounts anymore would once again be able to at little to no risk of offending others.
2. Since all players will still be able to communicate with their team, there is no degradation of communication and limited risk of resorting to other means of expressing dissatisfaction (trolling).
3. Only limited development would be required, including minor UI updates, an additional option on premade teams, and minor updates to existing teambuilder code.
4. Since players choose their teams, and their teams can be their friends, including those who are not penalized in any way, there is no prisoner's island effect.
5. Since they will still play in the same queues exactly as they might have if they were not penalized, there is no degradation of MMR.
6. Since Riot can still track their chat despite the "Chat Freedom" option, and would have a history of their chat behavior, Riot would have valuable data should Riot decide to offer restoration of an account to full access later on.
7. Access to one's main account to play in most game modes would reduce the appeal of creating a new smurf.
What is the purpose of punishments? Punishments have existed as long as history itself, and probably longer. They can be just and they can be unjust, fair or unfair. They can be a slap on the wrist, or they can be a beheading. However, punishments have always served a common purpose, which is to coerce a desired behavior or to dissuade an undesirable one.
In many legal systems, including that of the United States, the aggrieved are not allowed to participate in the judging of the accused or in the handing down of their punishments, because the belief is that the aggrieved cannot be impartial, and that they would be likely to hand down a judgement that is unfair, or a punishment that is too severe for the crime. The purpose of the punishment is not supposed to be vindication for the aggrieved, but rather deterrence of future crimes. The most severe crimes have the most severe punishments because they require the greatest deterrence.
However, this is one area where the fundamental rules of life do not apply to video games, or to League of Legends specifically. Unlike real life where there is no way to absolutely compartmentalize and control the actions of an individual, in League of Legends, Riot is absolutely able to do exactly those things. If we understand punishments not as a source of vindication or retribution for wrongs, but as tools to deter poor behavior, we would be remiss to ignore this glaring opportunity.
I exaggerated a bit before. Riot is not able to control the actions of an individual, only the actions of an account. We know that some, though likely not all, permanently banned players go on to make smurf accounts, and many of those players continue to behave in the same toxic ways, exposing those most vulnerable, the new players, to the levels of toxicity that earned them a permanent ban in the first place. In fact, we have seen on this very board people coming forward and saying they _intentionally_ do this for their own sick sense of retribution for the banning of their accounts.
If my proposal minimizes the likelihood that players deemed toxic create smurfs and inflict the same toxicity that got them banned on new players, which I firmly believe it does, does it not better serve the purpose of deterring toxic behavior?