Clubs will sunset in the near future on the League Client and League+ mobile app.
Tools to develop, cultivate, and manage communities have come a long way over the years. From TeamSpeak to Ventrilo to Mumble to Discord, developers have spent decades helping players connect with each other in new, innovative ways. What began as support for text/voice chat has evolved into a suite of feature-rich, gaming-focused tools that help players communicate across games, livestream gameplay to each other, and coordinate their next sessions.
For companies like Discord, helping communities and friends talk is their primary focus, and when you compare the feature set of a product like Discord with that of Clubs, our version of a tool to help foster team communication and social inclusion, the disparity in the experience becomes extremely clear. Clubs is a single feature vying for attention among a TON of awesome League features that we want to build or update. With those competing focuses, we're never going to create a community tool that beats out the industry leaders. We're okay with that, and encourage you to use the tools they provide!
Ok, this one is a little boring, but it’s a key factor in this decision: the technology that Clubs was built on was a mix of internally developed systems and third-party software that was really exciting at the time. Unfortunately, the external components of it are no longer fully supported by its original developer and as a result, it has begun to do what all technology does over time-- degrade. Our team has been patching holes and fixing issues, but at this point we’re simply prolonging the inevitable. If we want Clubs to continue to be part of the League of Legends experience for the next ten years, it needs to be rebuilt.
Given that a rebuild would be necessary, we had to stop and ask ourselves - Is rebuilding Clubs the best place to focus our efforts? What would players get the most value from? Are social systems an area that we think we can provide a best-in-class experience? Based on the current level of innovation happening in community management tools, it's clear that this is not the place for us to focus our efforts in order to have the biggest impact on players.
Building League of Legends (and now TFT!) is what we believe we do best. Where we see a gap in the experience that we can fill (as we originally thought we could with Clubs), we’ll jump at the chance to provide something useful to players. The flip side of that coin, though, is that when we’re providing players with a worse experience than alternatives can provide, we probably shouldn’t get in the way of progress.
So, we believe that we should focus on spaces in which we can provide a truly great experience for all of you in the future. Spaces like combating game-ruining behavior, finally improving our client, reworking our item system or building new ways to play like TFT. Other people are on the case when it comes to building incredible community management systems. We need to focus on the ways in which we can uniquely serve your needs.
I’ve mentioned Discord a few times in this article and it’s for a specific reason. We believe that Discord is an excellent alternative to our current Club system. It’s more fully featured, so that you and your club members can stream games to each other, or use noise suppression tech in your voice chats. It is constantly being updated with new features and functionality and many of us use it every single day to not just play games with friends, but to hang out and talk before and after games. There are a lot of great tools out there today, but Discord is among the best in our humble opinion.
We’re partnering with Discord to help ease the transition away from Clubs for players who want to keep their communities together. We’ll have more to share in the coming months before we officially shut off Clubs, but our goal is to make it super easy for you to create a Discord server, share it with your Club-mates and continue playing League together without a hitch.
As for a timeline, we’re planning to turn off Clubs during preseason at the end of 2020. Preseason serves as a natural transition point in the cycle of League of Legends and will hopefully give players enough time to coordinate with their Club members for a future without it.
But we definitely want to hear your feedback and to understand what’s most important to you as part of this transition. We’ll be monitoring any thoughts to help us refine this transition plan over the coming months.