In context: The rising tension between the US and Iran is having an effect on gamers in the middle eastern country. Popular MOBA League of Legends has been blocked in both Iran and its key ally Syria at the behest of the American government.
After the US blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers earlier this month, which it denies, the country shot down a US surveillance drone last week. Iran says the UAV was flying over its territory, though the US claims it was in international airspace.
While Donald Trump said he called off airstrikes against Iran at the last minute on Friday, the president looks set to impose major new sanctions on the country today.
As reported by Dot Esports, League of Legends players in Iran and Syria are already feeling the effects of US sanctions. They are being met with the following message when trying to log in: “Due to US laws and regulations, players in your country cannot access League of Legends at this time. Such restrictions are subject to change by the US government, so if and when that happens, we will look forward to having you back on the rift.”
It appears League of Legends’ US developer Riot Games is adhering to the sanctions. The company has yet to comment on the matter.
As with most online bans and restrictions, people are using VPNs to play League of Legends in Iran and Syria, though their expense in these regions and the high pings they cause mean they’re not an ideal solution.