That Riot Games has been looking to improve the League of Legends community goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. The Honor System, Tribunal, and bans of high-tier players have all contributed to create the portrait of a company looking to break the stigma of MOBA games all having horribly abusive and toxic communities of players.
Now Riot is looking to actively bring players together, both new and established. They’ve started their Collegiate Program, whereby players can form clubs at their college or university campuses. Just look up your school to see if a club is there already, and if not, they’ll give you the option to create one yourself!
After completing what they list as a basic structure challenge, Riot will add the club to its Collegiate Registry, presumably to allow them to keep track of what swag (t-shirts were the first thing listed) they’ve sent you and so that others can look up your club.
The stated goal of all this is to foster tight-knit communities everywhere so summoners can go to indulge in their shared League of Legends hobby, get to know each other, and help each other get better at the game. Having a convenient excuse to avoid solo-queue is a nice side benefit.
Riot also implies that there are other rewards, presumably more impressive than the t-shirts mentioned for starting one of their collegiate clubs. Tournaments between college campuses would be an intriguing concept, with some very exciting potential. After all, if athletic sports can have a college league, why not e-sports?
These clubs would also provide a convenient and easy way to introduce friends to the game itself. League of Legends tends to demand a lot of new players in terms of things learned and it has an unkind learning curve. The allure of social interaction can be a great way of both enticing a reluctant player to try it out and to provide them with support as they learn and improve.
Who knows, your club might be the birthplace of the next Dyrus, Chauster, or Scarra! The future of League of Legends is in the new players brought into the game, and this is one of the better ways I’ve heard of easing those prospective summoners into things.