League Of Legends Unavailable To Play In Iran And Syria Due To US Sanctions

League Of Legends Unavailable To Play In Iran And Syria Due To US Sanctions
Credit: League of Legends via Youtube

Amid high tensions between the United States and Iran, one of the most popular online games in the world has been banned in Iran and close ally, Syria.

On June 20th, Iran sent a missile at a U.S. surveillance drone shortly after the United States made accusations against Iran regarding previous attacks on another drone and a pair of fuel tankers. According to reports, the drone was shot down despite being in international airspace, only adding fuel to an already-tense fire.

President Donald Trump shared on Twitter that on Monday, June 24th, “major additional Sanctions” would be put on Iran. It seems that this is already affecting things for gaming communities ahead of time, though.

An Iranian League of Legends player shared a notice issued by their LoL client stating, “Due to U.S. laws and regulations, players in your country cannot access League of Legends at this time. Such restrictions are subject to change by the U.S. government, so if and when that happens, we look forward to having you back on the Rift.”

This post was shared on the League forums, where the player pleaded that Iran has a large player base on the game and that political issues shouldn’t prevent people from enjoying the game.

While League of Legends is free-to-play, players can buy things like skins, icons, and more directly from the client. The sanctions being put in place by the U.S. affect League’s microtransaction system, which is why Riot Games, based in the United States, pulled the game from affected countries.

Players in Iran and Syria can get around the issue by using a VPN, however bypassing this would result in higher ping, which can drastically affect gameplay.

Riot Games has yet to comment on the matter officially, but they aren’t the only ones who have made a game inaccessible to players in specific countries before.

In 2016, Origin also made their platform unavailable for the same reasons, with an E.A. community manager sharing on a forum, “In compliance with U.S. embargoes and sanctions laws, Origin is not available in Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and Ukraine (Crimea region).”

The Epic Games Stores also prohibits certain countries from accessing it due to such regulations, as seen on their About page: “The Epic Games store is available to players in most countries in the world except where prohibited by U.S. law, such as North Korea and Iran.”

It is unclear at this time whether or not Iran and Syria will regain access to League of Legends, and if so, that time frame is currently undetermined. Only time will tell how things play out.