Lately, I've been receiving a lot of e-mails about the same questions and complaints about the Tribunal. I'm working with WookieCookie, RiotSeb and statuskwoh to add these to the Tribunal FAQs but we would love to discuss them here first.
1) What's the point of having a language filter if I can get banned for 'adult' language?
a) We aren't out to punish players who use adult language; in fact, very few players are ever banned for saying stuff like "f***, I missed that skill shot" or "damn, f***ing close game!" However, the language filter is not an excuse to verbally abuse someone in the game. When you verbally abuse or harass someone by calling them "f***ing ******" or "n*gger noob", that's when you've crossed the line and will be punished by the Tribunal. I've said this before and I'll say it again, we aren't trying to clean online games of adult language; we're trying to reform or get rid of jerks who like to verbally abuse and harass other players.
2) I only have 1 bad game in my Tribunal Reform Card, why am I banned???
a) The Tribunal verdict is not based on a 'majority' rule; there is also no requirement that all games have to be toxic for it to warrant a suspension. Depending on the case, sometimes 1 game is all that is needed to show that the player deserves a suspension. To Tribunal reviewers, decisions like these are up to you. When you view a Tribunal case, the questions you should ask yourselves are, "Is this player's behavior appropriate in League of Legends?" and "Would I want to play with this player?"
3) This player should have been banned, but he was pardoned. The Tribunal is broken!
a) The Tribunal was inspired by 'crowdsourcing' research. When I was still a student, I worked with labs that developed games such as "Foldit" that took advantage of crowdsourcing to find solutions to extremely tricky tasks--when you read this research you truly appreciate how accurate crowdsourcing systems can be. In fact, the Tribunal is far more accurate than traditional Player Support.
However, the Tribunal isn't perfect. The design is based on statistical probability and random sampling and every system like this has outliers. This means that sometimes, a player has an egregious Tribunal case but is still pardoned because he happened to get a lenient set of voters; however, if the player is truly toxic, he actually is re-sent back to the Tribunal in a handful of games and is usually accurately punished in his second visit to the Tribunal.
Because the Tribunal is designed to identify frequency and consistency of toxic behavior, this is why it doesn't take into account the severity of the offense. If a player is extremely toxic he will quickly get banned multiple times by the Tribunal until he is permabanned; in fact, extremely toxic players end up permabanned significantly faster than players who are 'less severe.' In the future, we may want to brainstorm ways to improve on the Tribunal so that it does take into account severity and adjusts punishments accordingly... but we're not there yet.
4) That player in my game was far worse than me. Why am I banned???
a) I'll keep this one simple: retaliation isn't OK. Reacting to a toxic player by being toxic just incites that player to be even worse--it also ruins the game for up to 8 other players. It is far, far worse to watch two people yelling at each other all game than it is to watch 1 player ranting into blank space. Almost everyone in the game can find someone out there that behaves worse than they do--but so what? Finding someone worse doesn't justify your behavior or justify retaliation. We expect more out of our players. What players often don't realize is... those other players in your game that you thought were worse? Nearly 100% of the time, those players were banned even before you were. If someone is being toxic, just report them and move on. If you retaliate, both of you will be banned. It's really that simple.
5) Low skill players should be banned from the game! The Tribunal should only ban Leavers/AFK and intentional feeders, those are the only types of players that really ruin games!
a) No. Just no. Jerks ruin games. League of Legends is for everyone whether they are 500 Elo or 2500 Elo. It's not a game for jerks.