Riot Games is now asking fans and players of League of Legends to keep the current socio-political clash between mainland China and Hong Kong out of the game, and to stick with League-related topics while participating in the in-game chat.
This message was posted by Riot Games' Global Head of LoL ESports, John Needham, who cited this weekend's World Championship Group events as the reason he's asking players to refrain from politically-charged discussions.
"As a general rule, we want to keep our broadcasts focused on the game, the sport, and the players," said Needham in his announcement. "We serve fans from many different countries and cultures, and we believe this opportunity comes with a responsibility to keep personal views on sensitive issues (political, religious, or otherwise) separate. These topics are often incredibly nuanced, require deep understanding and a willingness to listen, and cannot be fairly represented in the forum our broadcast provides. Therefore, we have reminded our casters and pro players to refrain from discussing any of these topics on air."
In short, Riot does not wish to escalate the issue in any way, shape, or form, and are thus abstaining from allowing communication of this kind in their official channels. Riot Games has been fully owned by the Chinese multi-media conglomerate Tencent for a while now, which may be the reason they're taking such a neutral stance on the matter.
In tangentially-related news, Riot is currently suing an ESports gaming team for using the word 'Riot' in their name.