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Any competition breeds people who will do anything to get the upper hand. Just as some athletes will try doping in order to get a competitive advantage, online gamers can also resort to their own cheating methods. League of Legends is trying to put a stop to it. Riot Games has filed a lawsuit in California against the creators of software that players can use to gain an unfair advantage.
LeagueSharp is a software hack for League of Legends that allows players to artificially boost their accuracy, locate enemies, and otherwise, automate gameplay. For a monthly subscription fee, the software will inject scripts into League of Legends which allow players to level up their characters at a rate which is essentially impossible through normal methods. Kotaku has tracked down and detailed the lawsuit that Riot Games has now filed against LeagueSharp, in order to get the hack killed.
The primary charge in the lawsuit is copyright infringement. Essentially, Riot Games believes that LeagueSharp would have had to violate copyright in order to reverse engineer League of Legends in order for their software to work properly. However, while copyright may be the legal issue at hand, it is far from the only underhanded thing LeagueSharp is being accused of. Riot also claims that LeagueSharp has instructed players on how to avoid being caught using the software, as well as how to fraudulently dispute in-game transactions. In addition, the suit alleges that affiliates of LeagueSharp threatened a Riot Games employee and disseminated personal, non-public information about the employee.
While many other games have attempted to cash in the MOBA craze, League of Legends has remained at or near the top of the heap for a long time. Part of the reason for this is that Riot has never rested on their success. The company continues to police the game, and most importantly spend money, to try to keep the game current and fair. They seem to take their community very seriously and has tried numerous different strategies to make games less toxic. While they have been met with limited success, the repeated attempts certainly show that they have a goal of making playing the game fun as well as fair.
It will be interesting to see how the lawsuit progresses. Riot Games apparently tried to settle these issues before filing the suit, but representatives from LeagueSharp were "unresponsive." Of the four named defendants, three are Germany-based affiliates, while the fourth is a Peruvian company that actually owns the copyright to the LeagueSharp software. Riot believes that this is a shell company, which exists only to evade liability. Even if Riot is successful in their suit, the fact that the defendants are all foreign could still make any legal enforcement difficult.