US government blocks League Of Legends in Iran and Syria

In the first example of global politics directly affecting video games, it’s now impossible to play LoL in Iran thanks to Donald Trump.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news lately you may have noticed that tensions between Iran and the U.S. are at a recent high, with armed conflict still looking like a distinct possibility.

At the very least there’s been strict sanctions imposed by the U.S. that… means you can no longer play League Of Legends in Iran and Syria.

Players in those countries have received a message telling them that the game has been blocked as a result of trade sanctions, since developer Riot is based in the U.S. and is forced to comply.

An Iranian player on the official League Of Legends forums has shared the complete, but rather short, message, which sates that, ‘Such restrictions are subject to change by the U.S. government, so if and when that happens, we will look forward to having you back on the rift.’

Like any such ban it’s easily circumvented by using a VPN, but this can be expensive in Iran and the ban will still prevent anyone from competing officially.

This is believed to be the first time a video game has been banned as a result of trade sanctions, but due to the nature of online titles today it’s unlikely to be the last.

Indeed, it’s unclear why League Of Legends has been the only one to be affected so far, considering how many other online titles would presumably be in a similar situation.

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