League of Legends blocked in Iran and Syria
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Real world politics and trade sanctions have reared their heads in League of Legends. Iranian and Syrian gamers woke up on Saturday morning to discover they've been blocked from accessing the game.
"Due to U.S. laws and regulations, players in your country cannot access League of Legends at this time," reads the message that explains why they can't play their favourite game anymore. "Such restrictions are subject to change by the U.S. government, so if and when that happens, we look forward to having you back on the Rift.”
Tensions between the United States of America and Iran have been growing for quite some time now. Seeking a more peaceful means of retaliation against Iran for its most recent actions, the U.S. government has placed new sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.
The sanction placed on Iran prevents any business in the country from trading with the U.S. and vice-versa. As such even though League of Legends is a free-to-play game, it's microtransactions constitute an act of trading.
VPNs could be used as a workaround but that would bring in new things to think about, like a higher, expensive services and the repercussions if caught (whatever they may be).
This development will most likely persist until relations between the countries involved improves. How long that would take is a mystery for now, but hopefully not long at all.