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Agence France-Presse
November 08, 2013
With over 32 million registered players and 5 million playing at the same time back in March, popular online team game "League of Legends" is smoothing out its ranking system as Season 3 draws to a close.

South Korean world champions SK Telecom T1 have split Season Three's $1 million prize fund between themselves and their coaching staff; Chinese team Royal Club Huang Zu was awarded $250,000 for placing second; the European and South Korean runners-up netted $150k apiece.

But the intense, highly competitive nature of the game can lead to disgruntled players behaving in an increasingly off-putting or "toxic" manner, something that Riot is looking to alleviate with upcoming changes.

Six league tiers of five divisions each are used to match players against those of similar ability, with the world's best contending in the top Challenger division.
Once the Season Three period wraps up, underperforming players will no longer be exempt from demotion between tiers.

That's to help deal with "a small but not insubstantial group of players [that] would reach division V of a tier and then consistently become more toxic and start to lose more frequently," a Riot rep told the "LoL" subreddit.

In addition, player progression should be more noticeable. League Points will be easier to accrue for those below all but the top leagues.

And if successful in flushing out frustration and toxicity, these measures should help make the long-term "LoL" experience more satisfying -- an important factor when rival game "Dota 2" has been actively fostering mentor relationships between veterans and newcomers.